Beware of ''urgent'' emails demanding personal details

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (UNI) Phishing scams continue to rise on the internet on all types of websites.

Overall, e-commerce and online banking services are extremely safe, however as an overall general rule, one must remain very careful when giving any personal financial information over the internet, police, IT experts and bankers have warned.

Internet phishing has been described as an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Phishing is typically carried out by email or instant messaging, and often directs users to enter details on a website, although phone contact has also been used. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to fool users.

Website www.marvquin.com has brought out eight ways to avoid getting 'hooked' to internet phising.

Always be wary of all emails with urgent inquiries for personal financial information. Look for emails that are digitally signed, because if the email is not, it may have been spoofed or forged.

Information that is disappointing or exciting is often used by phishers to get peoples attention quickly.

Always be alert for emails that seek passwords, usernames, credit card numbers, date of birth information and social security numbers.

If it claims to be an email from your bank, call the bank to verify. Phisher emails may be personalised and seem legitimate.

Never use interior links in suspicious emails. Call the company if you are unsure or log directly onto the company's webpage.

Do not fill in information from a link inside an email, especially when it is asking for personal information.

Only use secure websites or telephone calls initiated by the customer himself/herself, when transmitting credit card numbers or any personal account information.

Spoofing and forging have become common place techniques of phishers. Phishers can spoof and forge both the server and a legitimate looking address. The spoofer may then place both inside the link of the scam email. Always enter the name of any financial transaction, shopping, auction, or banking website into the URL field and do not use the links provided in emails.

Phishers are also able to forge and mimic trusted secure site icons and images. Always click the image that is indicative of the site being a secure site. If there is an error message, do not use the site.

Many phishers will not use the URL of the site you are attempting to put your information to, however the landing or homepage will look identical to the homepage of the real site.

Several sites offer toolbars that help protect users from fraudulent websites and will alert them.

Try to login and check accounts at least once a month, however, more frequently is ideal.

Always consistently check all credit, bank and debit card statements to make sure that all notations are accurate.

Contact the bank, card issuer or financial institution immediately if a suspicious transaction is found.

One has to make sure that browser is updated as per emerging security requirements.

Always report phishing or spoofed e-mails or communications to the bank or police.

UNI NAB RR HT1605

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