This web page provides tips for mitigating technology-related risks while getting the most out of your computing environment. It addresses protecting your privacy and some of the privacy and identity threats that exist.
Providing Personal Information Online
Many websites today offer features and services customized to your preferences based on personal information that you supply. For example, some shopping sites save you time by retaining your shipping and billing information, some news sites offer you the headlines you’re most likely to be interested in, and some sites even collect Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers for various reasons.
However, not all sites can be trusted to use your personally identifiable information the way you want or expect. If you are not careful, you may find yourself the victim of identity theft.
Recognize Identity Theft Threats
Several types of attacks are used to steal information and other assets on the Web. The most common ones include phishing, spoofing, and spam.
The act of a malicious user or website that deceives people into revealing personal information, such as account passwords and credit card numbers. A phisher typically uses deceptive e-mail messages or online advertisements as bait to lure unsuspecting users to fraudulent websites, where the users are then tricked into providing personal information.
Spoofing attacks are commonly used in conjunction with phishing. The spoofed site is usually designed to look like the legitimate site, often using components like company logos from the legitimate site.
Unsolicited e-mail that could be used to spread e-mail messages as part of a larger phishing scam.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams
Learn how phishing attacks work by visiting the web page of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Consumer Protection News.
A number of phishing attacks have been circulating via e-mail. Recent phishing e-mails appear to come from Citibank, Paypal, Citizens Bank, and U.S. Bank, so be on alert for these attacks.
Protect Yourself and Personal Information
Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request, whether it is over the phone or over the Internet. E-mails and Internet pages created by phishers may look exactly like the real thing. They may even have a fake padlock icon that ordinarily is used to denote a secure site. If you did not initiate the communication, you should not provide any information.
More Information on Protecting Your Privacy and Identity Theft
The following websites offer extremely valuable information regarding protecting your privacy, identity theft, and phishing. Please take a moment to review them to aid in protecting yourself from these malicious attacks.