10 Ways to Protect Yourself

1)     Use a current web browser and keep it up-to-date with security patches! - Current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome have built-in mechanisms for detecting web sites associated with phishing scams.

2)    Keep antivirus up to date - One of the most important things you can do to avoid phishing attacks is keep your antivirus software up-to-date because most antivirus vendors have signatures that protect against some common technology exploits.

3)    Do not click on hyperlinks in e-mails - It is never a good idea to click on any hyperlink in an e-mail, especially from unknown sources. You never know where the link is going to really take you or whether it will trigger malicious code. Verify your sender before clicking on links!

4)    Take advantage of anti-spam software - Anti-spam software can help keep phishing attacks at a minimum. A lot of attacks come in the form of spam.

5)    Verify https (SSL) - Whenever you are passing sensitive information such as credit cards or bank information, make sure the address bar shows "https://" rather than just "http://" and that you have a secure lock icon at the bottom right hand corner of your Web browser.

6)    Use anti-spyware software -Keep spyware down to a minimum by installing an active spyware solution. If for some reason your browser is hijacked, anti-spyware software can often detect the problem and provide a fix.

7)    Get educated - Educate yourself on how to prevent these types of attacks.

8)    Use backup- Keep a backup copy or image of all of your important computer systems in case of foul play. You can then revert back to a pure system state if you suspect that a phishing attack, spyware, or malware has compromised the system.

9)    Don't enter sensitive or financial information into pop-up windows - A common phishing technique is to launch a bogus pop-up window when someone clicks on a link in a phishing e-mail message. This window may even be positioned directly over a window you trust. Close pop-up windows by clicking on the X in the top-right corner. Clicking cancel may send you to another link or download malicious code.

10) Configure a Firewall - Turn on and configure the software firewall on your computer and use a hardware firewall for your protection.  A good desktop firewall will help protect against tampering by outside attackers and keep browsing safe.