Phishing, spelled with a "ph" instead of an "f", is another issue to watch out for when you're surfing the Internet. The original term, phishing, comes from the practice of using your phone modem to automatically dial a whole range of phone numbers, looking for another modem to connect to. Back then, most places with modems were large corporations or government departments, so you were pretty likely to connect to something interesting.
Now, although the practice has changed somewhat, the term hasn't. Instead of dialing number after number, hoping to find a modem, unscrupulous sorts now send out mass emails with false information, designed to prey on people's fears. A typical phishing email will come from "your bank" with a scary sounding message that your account has been hacked and they need to verify some information. You're told to click on a link to go to the bank's web page and update or verify some information. Unfortunately, the link doesn't really go to the bank's site. It goes to a page they've created to look as close to the bank's site as they can create, with all the information going to their own servers.
Some things to watch for in these emails. First off, most of them have various spelling or grammatical errors. Second, if you pay close attention to the bottom part of your email program, you'll see that the address doesn't match the address in the link on the page. Last, but certainly not least, your bank will NEVER email you and ask you to update information. They will call directly, if anything, and they will ask you to type the bank's web site into your browser manually. They will NEVER ask you to click on a link, unless you happen to be on the phone with them at the time.
Thanks for reading! Hope this helps you with your next computer purchase.
Until next week, I'm Computer Dave
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