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System Scan Information - Free Phishing Scan Summary

What is Phishing?

Phishing (pronounced "Fishing") is a technique by which information is attempted to be gained from someone, generally under the guise of a legitimate request.  Phishing is largely associated with EMail, but may take many other forms.

Phishing Example: An EMail, claiming to be from a bank, arrives asking you to verify your credit card details.  In this instance someone could be phishing for your credit card details and may be trying to ultimately use your card.

Phishing may also be subtle.  For example a simple survey of your life style may actually be used to compose more personal information by combining answers to different questions.

What is Phishing in 60 Seconds Video
What is Phishing in 60 Seconds Video

Is Phishing harmful?

Depending on the information being sought, Phishing can be very harmful.  Phishing can be used to: 

  • Steal Credit Card and other banking details.
  • Steal passwords to other valuable accounts (e.g: social networks).
  • Access your EMail (which may have other sensitive information).
  • Use your Identity for personal gain (Identity Theft).
  • and many other undesirable activities.
What can I do?

If you think you have been the victim of a phishing attack then take all common sense actions.  For example if your credit card has been compromised then contact your credit card company ASAP.

If you think your passwords have been compromised then change them to minimise the damage.  This includes updating other security related aspects of these accounts such as your secret question.  In this case it may be worth considering shutting this account down completely.

If your EMail address has been compromised then it's advisable to not just change your EMail password (and other security), but accounts that you have used your EMail address for may also be compromised.   Example: You may have the password to another account sent to your EMail address and phishing thieves may now have access to that account.

How to avoid Phishing attacks?

Once again commonsense.  Phishing EMails (as an example) are generally SPAM so watch out for them.  Typically a phishing request asks you to verify your details, often informing you that your account may have been compromised already.

Here are some quick tips to minimize the risks:

  • Be careful who you give details to.
  • If using a website, is it the right address (url).
  • Watch out for tricks in the address (url).  Examples is different to is not <- spot the difference
  • Generally don't use the address provided in the EMail.
  • Be careful how much personal info you put on social network sites.
  • Check the validity of a website when providing information.
  • Be careful how much personal info reveal generally.
  • Use security software that helps with phishing and keep it up to date.
  • Keep other software as up to date as possible with security updates.
  • Use more than one EMail address (e.g: one for sensitive info and only give out to trusted entities, and one for general use).

PC Tools Internet Security 2009 can minimize the chance of a phishing attack.  It can scan (free phishing scan) websites that you visit and compare them to a 'bad site' list.  It also has a SPAM filter that can also assist, along with all it's other security functions including anti-malware, anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-adware and a firewall.  You can use most of it's core functions for free.

Last checked: January 27, 2010
This Free Phishing Scan Summary information may be updated over time so please visit again.
This Information is provided for your consideration and we accept no responsibility for it's accuracy and timeliness nor appropriateness for your circumstances.

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