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Thursday, 30 August 2007

Phishing and Computer Security

I am sure everyone has received an email advising them that their bank has introduced some new security method which requires them to enter passwords and other security details into a web page or face discontinuation of a service.

This is called PHISHING and is usually carried out by criminals to persuade innocent victims to give away information that they may use to gain access to bank accounts, credit card accounts or other financial accounts.

It usually starts with an email

'The xyz bank has recently upgraded its security systems to make your account more secure and to protect your account from unauthorised access. To ensure that these new security measures are applied to your account you must change your password.
Click on the link www.any1bank.co.uk.'

If you click on the link you are taken to a web-site which looks remarkably like the web-site for your bank, cheekily, it may even have a warning on it that you should take care to make sure any information you provide is secure. You are invited to enter your security details. By doing this you have provided the phisher with information to permit theft of your money.

No bank or other financial institution would ever ask you to enter these details on an email.

If in any doubt carry out the following:

  • Never put passwords into an email (email is not secure)

  • If asked to click on a link, hover your mouse over then link and see if the link is the same as the hover information

  • If possible type in the web information you hold already for your bank

  • On a bank website look for the closed padlock symbol which shows that the site is secure

  • If it looks at all suspicious don't do anything with it

  • Forward the email to your bank for them to deal with it

  • Telephone your bank and ask if the email is genuine

  • If you have been fooled and do enter information into a phishing web-site contact your bank immediately and them what you have done. This may mean that your account is frozen while action is taken. You will have to change passwords of course.


Phishing is the number one method at the moment for fund generation by criminals.

Don't fall for it

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