Watch out for Phishing Scams

Today I read an article at work about phishing scams, physician and I was amazed at what I read. I used to think that you could rely on the URL as an accurate indication of what website you were visiting. However, dosage that is not the case. As you can see from the article, phishers can “spoof” the URL of the page you are viewing; just because the URL says you are at PayPal, doesn’t necessarily mean you are at PayPal’s website.

Currently it seems the only thing you really have to worry about is clicking on links (especially links in your email). When you want to go to PayPal, only do it by typing the address of the site directly into your address bar. Don’t click on links in your email to take you to PayPal’s site.

Also, when you are at a website, if the URL begins with “https://” (note the “s”) make sure your browser is displaying a lock icon in the Status Bar. (Internet Explorer users should click on View in the toolbar, and make sure there is a check mark next to Status Bar.)

When you are viewing a webpage, you can right click on the page and look at the properties of the page, and look at the URL listed in the box. If the URLs don’t match exactly, then the browser URL is being spoofed. This should be a MAJOR RED FLAG!

One last piece of advice: switch from Internet Explorer. I’m currently using FireFox. It is faster and more secure than Internet Explorer. It is also highly customizable, and can even be taught to block many banner ads. If you have questions about customizing FireFox, write me, and I’ll help.

So, in recap: check out the article, and be careful EVERY TIME you give out financial information or usernames and passwords on the web.


One response to “Watch out for Phishing Scams”

  1. Wow, scary. Thanks for the warning.

    Unfortunately, my residential network over here on campus won’t allow me to use FireFox, which really annoys me. It will only allow Internet Explorer for surfing the web. I ought to complain about it, since they put all these precautions on us to try and make sure that we don’t do anything bad with the internet (like getting viruses, etc.), and using FireFox would sure help out in that way.

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