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Protect Yourself from Scams

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Businesswomen need to themselves from scams like phishing, spoofing and other online scams – find out how to recognise them and protect yourself…

“Congratulations, you have won an international lottery! Click here to claim your prize…”

“We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account has taken place. To ensure your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity”

“Message Alert (Tax Refunds)”

“Payment Stop Order”

“Change of banking details & payment methods”

“Action Required: Confirm Your Account”

What is Phishing? (Pronounced “fishing”)
Have you come across similar messages? Be wary, as phishing is the latest buzzword in internet crime. It is a scam whereby hackers send out emails and/or pop-up messages in order to lure personal information such as a user’s banking details, credit cards numbers, email passwords and other credentials. This information is then used for illegal purposes. These internet fraudsters, “fish” the internet in an attempt to “hook” unsuspecting users. This is done by impersonating a legitimate service provider such as your bank, social networking site or email service provider.

What is Spoofing?
Spoofing is when a legitimate webpage is replicated on another server and then used for illegal purposes. The fake website will be almost identical to the original website and will be used to trick unsuspecting users into parting with their sensitive information.
How can I detect a case of Online Phishing
Phishing emails usually direct you to spoofed websites. To prevent online identity theft, do not part with your user name, passwords and pin numbers via email or over the web if you are suspect that the website or email is not genuine. Make sure that the site that you are accessing is secure –

You can check if a website is secure by:
1. Closely inspecting the URL (Uniform Resource Locator – commonly known as the website address) – General browsing webpage addresses begin with “http”. However when a webpage is requesting your credentials, the address displayed begins with “https” – the “s” at the end indicates a secure connection.

2. Look out for the “lock” icon in the window of the browser

Be wary about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive. These files can contain viruses or other software that can attack your PC.

What should I do if I suspect I have fallen prey to a phishing scam?
Immediately change your passwords or PIN numbers on accounts that you think may have been compromised. Contact the bank or company concerned directly, preferably in person or via telephone (not via the link in the fraudulent email)

Scan your bank statements to check for any illegal transactions. Make it a habit of doing this on a regular basis.

Happy and safe browsing!

Written by Sanjuka Bejanath

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