Cybercrime Defense

Go back to Topic Center

What is Phishing and How do You Protect Yourself

    Print

Once identity thieves have your personal information, they use it in a variety of ways.

Phishing is an identity-theft scheme in which fraudulent emails solicit confidential information by impersonating banks and other institutions.

In the nationally representative survey of 2,000 homes with Internet access, less than 1 percent of respondents said they had lost between $100 and $1,000 through phishing scams. Four of those surveyed admitted to losing over $1,000, which translates to some 400,000 Internet users nationwide that would have lost $1,000 or more to phishing.

Phishing scams are on the rise. To protect against identity thieves, you should never directly respond to emails seeking personal information. Questionable messages should be verified by contacting the institution directly.

Another way to protect against phishing is to give an incorrect password on the first try. A phishing site will accept an incorrect password, while a legitimate site won't.

Finally, be pre-emptive. Before you even open your email box and attempt to outwit the phishing experts, always update your virus protection.


Back to top

 

The Ultimate Security:

McAfee® Mobile Security 

McAfee® Mobile Security

Connect with confidence and protect your most personal device

$29.99

PC Infected? Get Expert Help Now!

McAfee Virus Removal Service 

Connect to one of our security experts by phone. Have your PC fixed remotely – while you watch!

$89.95

Available daily, 24x7.