Section 15.5. Phishing

15.5. Phishing

If a stranger came up to you on the street and asked for your banking password, you'd probably think he was loony. Yet, thousands of people feel compelled to hand over their banking passwords when that same request comes through email.

In a practice known as phishing, scammers send emails that appear to come from your bank, PayPal, eBay, or similar finance- related sites (see Figure 15-9). Unfortunately, the emails are carefully crafted spoofs that try to trick you into visiting the scammer's site (cleverly constructed to look like a legitimate site) and entering your coveted account name and password.

Legitimate companies never send you email asking you to verify your password. If legitimate companies need to contact you, they'll send a letter. Or, they simply wait until you visit their site and log in. The "urgent" requests in your mailbox come from thieves waiting for you to click their links and enter your account information, password, credit card numbers , and anything else they can trick you into revealing .

Figure 15-8. Top: Many laptops, portable hard drives , monitors , projectors, and other expensive gadgets include a Security Slota small rectangular hole in the case that's left more than a few owners wondering what plugs into it.
Bottom: The answer comes from Kensington (, which, along with many other companies, sells cables and locks that latch onto the slot, letting you fasten your laptop or other equipment to the nearest desk leg, chair , or other large, solid object. Manufacturers often place a reinforcing strip of metal behind the security slot; ripping the lock out of the slot takes a good chunk of the laptop's case along with it.

Note: The easiest way to avoid phishers is to never give any personal, financial, or account information to any Web site or email address unless you started the communication . When in doubt, open your browser, and type in the institution's Web site address by hand , not by clicking any emailed link. Check the link displayed in your email program's lower corner against the link at the company's legitimate Web site. If they're different, you're being scammed.

PCs: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596100930
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 206
Authors: Andy Rathbone

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