Phishing is when someone sends you an email falsely claiming to be a legitimate business in an attempt to scam you into giving them your personal information. Identify this scam with these steps.
* Legitimate businesses do not ask you for your personal information by email. Sometimes, it may be necessary to update your information, but most businesses will alert you to this when you sign in to your account through the business's website. So - just as you wouldn't provide personal information to telemarketers and people you don't know - you shouldn't provide it to anyone asking you for that in any email.
* Fake email messages are often not personalized. When your bank, credit card company, loan company, etc. sends you an email it is usually personalized. It's only common courtesy to use your name. So this would also be an indication that the email is a scam.
* A link in the email is masked. This is the part that confuses most people. "Masking" a link is simply asking you to click on a link that directs you somewhere else than what you thought you were clicking on. A simple way you can catch this is buy moving your cursor over the link and looking at the bottom of your browser on the status bar. This will show you the actual website the link is going to take you to.
* The "lock" in the status bar is not engaged. You need to make sure that the lock in the status bar is locked. This ensures you that the page you are on is secure. If it doesn't have the lock, then any personal information that you put on there could be compromised.
* Never reply to email messages that request your personal information.
* Never click on suspicious links. Move your cursor over the link to see where it is directing you.
* Make sure the site is secure. Check the lock on the status bar.