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Phishing Websites

Phishing websites use the same basic premise as phishing e-mails, except that criminals will go as far as to erect a fake website of some sort that asks you to submit personal information.

Criminals exercise considerable creativity for website fraud. On one hand, they may erect a fake e-commerce site and get you to submit your credit card information. In other instances, the site may merely be a tool designed to install spyware or other foreign programs into your computer.

Here are some tips on what to look out for, and how to deal with them accordingly:

  • Many phishing websites operate under the guise of a well-reputed company or seller. Other times, the design and function of the site are convincing enough to lure you into a false sense of security.

  • For e-commerce sites, make sure that you are shopping with a trusted seller who is certified with some form of data encryption os Secure Socket Layer (SSL) system to protect your information. Most legitimate sites will display an authentic seal from Network Solutions or another internet security company indicating that a site is protected.

  • An easy way to check for SSL encryption is to look for the web address that begins with "https" as opposed to just "http" on billing entry pages. This signifies that the website employs SSL protection and your purchase is secure.

  • Also look for the padlock icon in the far right side of the address bar, which indicates that you are operating in a secure website.

  • If you are uncertain about the reputability of a website, check site reviews from places like resellerratings.com, or even conduct a background check at the Better Business Bureau website to confirm legitimacy.