The Internet is great for providing entertainment, information, or anything else you could imagine. It is also filled with malware and other programs that cause harm to your computer. One of the methods these programs use to infect your computer is called phishing.
Think of it like actual fishing. A piece of bait is used to draw the target’s attention. Once that bait has been taken, the program is then installed. Sometimes the programs cause more annoyance than actual harm. Other times they quietly steal your personal information and pass it along. Here are some tips you can follow to help limit your chance of falling victim to a phishing scheme.
1. Never download or install anything unless you are sure of what it is. A lot of the time, these phishing attacks pose as one thing but are really something different.
2. Be wary of any windows that popup while you are on the Internet. More often than not, it is a phishing attack hoping you will click on it.
a. When you close any popups, always use the X in the upper right corner. Pay close attention that you are clicking the correct X. Sometimes these popups are cleverly designed and have their own X they hope you will click on.
3. Along the same lines, be cautious when clicking on anything telling you software is out of date, especially when on the Internet. Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome do not alert the user in a popup. If you see any of these, close them by using the X in the upper right corner.
4. Be skeptical of any window or popup stating your computer is infected. This is one of the more popular phishing schemes. Antiviruses are smart enough to work without you telling it to clean your computer. Your safest bet is to just close the Window. If you really have an infection it will alert you again.
We have added a few pictures of various phishing attacks. Remember to be 100% sure of what you are downloading and close any obnoxious popups with X in the upper right corner. Following these simple rules should make your time on the Internet more enjoyable.