Phishing

Definition

This is the criminally fraudulent action of obtaining sensitive information of a person(s), this usually includes passwords, user names, credit card details and even addresses. This is usually done by posing as trustworthy sites that either offer promotions/prizes or even appearing as similar popular sites such as auction sites, social sites and online payment processers. People who are new or inexperienced easily fall prey to these sophisticated sites which are hard to completely prevent or stop with general anti-virus.

Description

The internet can be a very deceptive place and this is usually where the phishing occurs. However not all phishing takes place online this could just be the point where it starts from. Fake websites often send messages posing as banks and requesting the user to contact a number (which belongs to the hacker), from here they are prompted to enter their bank details and could be none the wiser until it is too late.

The results of phishing can be devastating from being denied access to your e-mail accounts to losing everything you have in your bank account. It is estimated from May 2005- May 2006 1.2million computer in the United States suffered from phishing, this is an estimated cost of $929 million. The UK have their far share of loses at an approximate of £23.2 million in the same year. The banks in the united kingdom insist on customers being extremely careful and do not amend anything lost over the amount of £11,000.

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