Spyware and Phishing
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What is spyware?
Spyware usually consists of a small program that is installed on your computer without your knowledge. It is used to track your online activity, compile that data, and then send the information to a third party over the Internet. Malicious websites are notorious for attempting to install spyware on the computers of unsuspecting web surfers.
How do I avoid spyware?
- Use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer as your primary web browser
- Use an anti-spyware program like Spybot Search & Destroy
- Load a script blocker in Firefox like NoScript
- Avoid websites that have a lot of ads or offer “free” online games
What is “phishing”?
Phishing is the term used for an attempt to get personal information about you by sending you an email that appears to come from a trustworthy website such as eBay, Amazon.com or even Missouri S&T. The emails will ask for your username and password or other personal information in attempt to engage in identity theft. These attempts can be hard to spot since most business sites will contact their users from time to time, but rarely (if ever) would a trustworthy website ask for your username and password or bank information in an email.
How do I avoid being fooled by a phishing scam?
- The number one thing you can do is to not give any sensitive information (password, bank account numbers, social security number, etc.) away via email or on the Internet.
- A good tip to remember is, “When in doubt, don’t click.” Never click on a link in an email unless you are absolutely sure of where it will take you.
- Use a spam filter. While it’s not perfect at detecting these types of email, the Missouri S&T email system automatically filters a lot of spam for you.