These tips can help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:
- Be careful when opening any attachments or downloading any files from emails;
- Keep anti-virus software and a firewall up-to-date;
- Do not disclose credit card or other financial account numbers on a web site unless the site offers a secure transaction. There are two ways to determine if it is a secure transaction:
- An icon of a lock will appear in the bottom strip of the web browser page;
- The URL for the web page will change from "http" to "https" for the page at which you input the personal data;
- Do not reply to e-mails or pop-up messages that ask for personal or financial information.
Even if you take all of these steps, however, it is still possible that you can become a victim of identity theft. Records containing your personal data - credit card receipts or car rental agreements, for example - may be found by or shared with someone who decides to use your personal data for fraudulent purposes.