Phishing refers to the deceptive practice of sending an email that appears to be legitimate from a reputable source. It may contain real information, including a company logo and branding, or even personal information gleaned from social media. These emails urge you to take action — e.g., click on a link, open an attachment or respond to a message. Phishing can lead to fraud and to malware infection.
Phishing attempts typically:
Malware is malicious software that is installed on your computer, smartphone and other devices without your authorization. Malware typically collects information about you — the passwords you use, the websites you visit — simply by watching you type or surf the Web. Malware may also take over your computer and send emails you didn’t write or spread computer viruses.
Malware is typically installed through:
Your computer may have malware if it:
If you suspect your computer has been infected with malware, take the necessary steps to remove the unwanted software from your computer.
Identity theft involves the impersonation of an individual through the fraudulent use of his or her personal and account information — e.g., driver’s license, Social Security number, bank account and other numbers, as well as user names and passwords.
Identity thieves obtain information in a number of ways:
More information on identity theft and protecting your identity can be found at these websites:
Learn more about fraud and how you can spot it at OnGuardOnline.gov.
Be proactive in protecting personal and account information.
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