Be careful when clicking on links in e-mail messages, on Facebook posts, in forums and text messages because, scammers and hackers are using the abovementioned technique called Phishing, to trick their victims by asking for personal or sensitive information on a bogus web page designed to look legitimate.
The links may also take you to malicious websites that contain viruses and other malicious programs. I came across a website (daflirtzone.com) that automatically installed a virus on my computer without a prompt or input from me. The website installed a Trojan on my computer by just visiting it. Click here to read.
Before logging into any of your accounts online, please look at your browser's address bar to ensure that you are on the correct or legit web page. This will help prevent you from entering your username and password on bogus web pages that will send that information to the persons behind these Phishing attacks.
Let me give you an example:
A few months ago, I clicked on a link and it took me to a web page looking exactly like live.com login page. When I saw the page my first impulse was to enter my username and password to login. For some reasons I didn't, I looked at the address bar and realized that address of the page was not live.com or hotmail.com. Click here to read.
If a Phishing e-mail message can compromise the government computer network which has a lot of security professionals, just imagine how easy it is to compromise a computer of a typical user browsing the internet.
To avoid Phishing scam:
- Install an anti-virus software
- Do not click on links which promise ridiculous offers.
- Do not click on links that offer you to view naked pictures of celebrities.
- Be careful of the applications on Facebook that you give access to your account. Bogus applications that you have given access to your account can submit Phishing links to your friends.
- Be careful of e-mail messages that contain a link to change your username and password
- Be careful of e-mail messages claiming to be from your bank, asking you to update your information.
You can ignore the rules above if the websites the link point to, are well-known and trusted. For example: yahoo.com, hotmail.com, live.com, cnn.com, msn.com etc.