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Ignore Phishing and You are a Dead FISH

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 8/13/2008

Phishing is the evil plaguing the computer users in the 21st century. Simply; it can ruin one's reputation; tear away at your online identity; strip you of your finances; change your life for bad -- all in one go. See what phishing is all about here.

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    Enter the 21st century and you have a myriad of problems to battle with when it comes to system security. Earlier, programs were written to ruin your operating systems; we now have programs that are designed to pound you. Something that started as a fun way to get the details of others using the Internet, phishing has now evolved to be an elite new way to “fish” your personal details off your transactions online – with you being unaware of it, of course – leading to impersonation, identity theft and a host of other malicious activities that have dire consequences for the victims.

    If you are thinking that it isn’t that serious for you to scratch your head for; according to a Gartner study, about 57 Million U.S Internet users have acknowledged receiving emails with phishing scams and over 1.2 Million are actual phishing victims so far – with varying degrees of seriousness. APWG (Anti-Phishing working Group) predicts that phishers see a success rate of about 5 % with the tons of email hooks that they shoot out. That’s a whopping number of people and an unbelievable amount of precious data sauntering into the miscreants' hands.

    Phishing is the process of socially engineering, luring or tricking you to divulge your information for rampant misuse and out-right theft. One of the juicy targets for the malicious phishing hobbyists are organizations themselves, what with a ton of email gushing in and out of their weak fire-walls abused anti-spyware, anti-malware systems.

    Lurking behind the multitude of these emails, these dangerous “information hooks” lie waiting for their prey to come along – customers, employees, or anyone using the Internet to part with their confidential data and information for the “phishers” to route into nefarious uses. The usual method used to gain such information is the email.

    Customer allegiances shift like storm-ridden desert sands now-a-days and given the fact that vast amounts of transactions happen online, organizations are quickly resorting to whatever it takes to enable high levels of trust for the ever discerning consumers. Companies rely on third party security systems, protocols like Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and are taking a pro-active stance when it comes to protecting consumer data and information to safe-guard their businesses and bring about better profits.

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