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What is Phishing?

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Phishing

Phishing refers to a fraud designed to thieve a user’s personal information, for instance PIN, login details, credit or debit card details and so on. Scammers set up fraud websites that look like actual and trusted websites such as business or bank websites. These sites are created in a way that they look as real as the actual site. The scammers then send e-mails to the users inviting them to visit their site and update their details.

If someone goes to these fake sites and enter any sensitive detail, the scammers can easily use those details to access the user’s online bank account or use the confidential information in other illegal ways. A phishing email generally contains a link which is supposed to take the users to some real site, but instead it takes them to a bogus site.

What can be done?

It is very essential for the user to be alert. It is 99 percent in the hands of a user to be safe. One should be very suspicious of e-mails. It doesn’t matter where these e-mails may seem to come from. A user should be extra careful if there are unexpected e-mails from the bank or any other seemingly trusted website. If the e-mail is from the bank, one should never follow the link and enter any sensitive information, rather one should immediately contact the respective bank.

Another important point that one should know is that most of the web browsers today have built in anti-phishing features, that check the visited websites and keep on updating the user regularly. One should make sure that this feature is enabled on your browser.

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Parul Mahajan is a Post Graduate in Gender Studies from Ambedkar University, Delhi and also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University. She is the author of ““Warring Over Religion and Feminism”, a Masters level Dissertation. Parul has also interned with Vimochana, a Bangalore based women’s organization working on various women’s issues.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Just very simple instructions – if you feel something isn’t right, it isn’t. Don’t click on sites, never answer any personal questions.
    They can use the information you accidentally give them to steal your identity, to steal your money, and then you have nothing left. There are so many stories out there about this happening to people. It’s good to get advice about this.

  2. The phishing problem has caused many problems to the customers in general. Many banks have asked their customers to change their passwords or in some case the password becomes invalid after a certain period of time. But it is a collective reponsibility of the bank and the customer to keep such unhealthy practise at bay.

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