In the United States there are currently 100 billion emails sent, in a business capacity alone, daily. If this trend continues, by next year that number will have risen to 135 billion e-mails sent and received per day. While it remains one of the most important methods of communication throughout the world, it’s not the safest. In fact, it is one of the most efficient ways for facilitating identity theft and fraud. From phishing schemes to malware and other unintentional means of providing personal information, there are numerous pitfalls to avoid when surfing the World Wide Web.
The IRS defines Phishing as: Phishing (as in “fishing for information” and “hooking” victims) is a scam where Internet fraudsters send e-mail messages to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal and financial information that can be used to steal the victims’ identity:
Always remember to never provide personal information without confirming the identity of the person contacting you. Generally, this kind of fraud is reparable but also incredibly easy to avoid.
Malware, short for malicious software, is a blanket term for any manner of virus or spyware that attempts to steal personal information in order to commit fraud or other possibly criminal activity. Some common methods of unintentionally downloading this software are: