30 seconds to know

What is phishing?

What is 'Phishing'?
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The term phishing relates to an attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by pretending to be a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. It's basically a fraud scam, whereby potential victims are contacted via email, instant messaging, text message or by phone. Often, these messages look like they are from a legitimate source, like a bank or mobile phone company, even going so far as to use a company logo in the body of the email to make it look official and to get you to divulge personal information.

In these messages, there are often spelling mistakes and generic language, like "Dear Sir/Madam" or "Dear Trusted Customer."

Be suspicious of any message that asks you to enter personal information, such as a password or account information, unless you requested it. If you receive an email like this, do not click on the links in the email. Instead, delete the email or move it to your junk folder. Also, be sure to block the sender.

If you do happen to click on a link, your best bet is to disconnect the computer, reboot your system, and clear your cache in order to sever any connection with the malicious Web page.