Phishing is becoming a serious problem nowadays when Internet transactions have become such an easy and a mundane activity that virtually available for anyone. Unfortunately, Internet security still has its flaws and therefore we must sure we take every necessary precaution to protect ourselves.

Phishing is defined as being a type of fraud that is characterized by an attempt to extract personal information by creating a fraudulent replica of a trustworthy entity. Phishing usually involves the use of copy-cat web sites and fraudulent e-mails that are sent to users in an attempt to trick users and make them reveal sensitive information that appears to be requested by a legitimate authority.

Urgent messages, real company names and URLs that looks legitimate or e-mails from staff members. More than 3 million people fall pray to phishing scams annually, making identity theft one of the most serious and prevalent problem crime of the last decade. Here are some of the precautions you need to take in order to minimize the chances of being scammed:

A precautionary measure when receiving a suspect e-mail is to make a phone call to verify that the claims made in the e-mail are genuine. If you feel pressured in any way or the the e-mail seems threatening be suspicious or you that you were not expecting and make sure you verify everything you can.

Also use a secure e-mail client like Gmail which offers better spam protection than AOL or Yahoo. It is also useful to know that banks never ask you to verify your username and password after the initial sign up.

Make sure you security system is well equipped and kept up to date. Make sure you have a software package that includes good firewall and anti-virus protection anti-spam and spyware detection. Usually a secure internet connection starts with ”https://” instead ”http”. Consider having separate e-mail addresses for different areas of your life.

Although it is not advisable to follow the link that looks suspicious if you do follow the link try entering a wrong password first. A genuine site will signal the error while a fraudulent site will accept the wrong password.

Also if you unintentionally submit personal financial information immediately contact as banks and credit card companies can prevent any further damage from being done.

Knowledge is the most important weapon in preventing and minimizing the damage that can be done. Exercise caution whenever you make internet transactions and be ware of several security myths and misconceptions that can jeopardize much more than your than your computer. Your financial security is one of the main areas that must be protected when making internet transactions but your personal intimacy is equally important so make sure that you gather all the necessary information in order to protect yourself as well as your family.