Phishing scams can sabotage a user’s personal information and lead to multiple problems in safeguarding confidential information. Phishing scams are on the rise as more people turn to the internet for online banking, shopping, and other financial transactions that are connected to their personal bank accounts. As a result, hackers and criminals are taking steps to catch these consumers as they enter information. A common phishing tactic is to pose as a legitimate company and lure visitors to a website; the user is asked to enter their login information but do not realize they are sending this information to a third party instead.

A phishing attack can have dangerous consequences, but there are many ways to avoid phishing scams. Phishers generally request immediate action, adding a sense of urgency to each and every message. Knowing how to identify these messages will help reduce or eliminate your risk as a phishing target. The first step in avoiding phishing scams is to double check the source of any e-mails. If you need to call the company or financial institution to verify the source, then take the steps to do so. It’s important that you never share account information over the internet, unless you are 100% sure the site is secure and it is for a legitimate purpose. It’s a good idea to check your bank accounts on a regular basis, and learn about any fraudulent behavior.

Many phishing attacks take place through bulk e-mail requests, and these may or may not end up in your spam folder. Avoid Phishing Scams Although many large financial institutions send out bulk e-mails, it’s important to white list as many of these companies as possible. This can help you sort through the legitimate correspondence and any fraudulent ones, reducing your risk overall. Always be sure never to fill out and send back personal information within an e-mail, unless it has been verified or requested by a real person. These are ideal ways for phishers to find victims, especially when you are asked to enter personal financial information.

It’s important to be vigilant about e-mail links. This is the primary tactic used by many phishing scams to redirect you to another page. A link out of any e-mail may take you to an insecure site or network, and it’s likely that these sites are also monitored or being recorded. If you are not well-protected with the appropriate security software, you are increasing your risk even further by visiting these potentially threatening sites. Make sure you are using secure website software to monitor web browser activity as often as possible.

Another strategy to prevent phishing scams is to make sure your browser and computer are up to date, and that you have downloaded any necessary security patches. You can avoid phishing attacks simply by keeping your computer and performance in good order. Reporting phishing attacks as often as possible will also help reduce your risk of attack; when you detect fraudulent behavior, be sure to contact the authentic site’s administration to report the incident or incidents.