Phishing is a technique used to obtain personal information from computer users so that it can be used for malicious purposes. One common example is fake e-mail messages, claiming to be from a bank or some other trustworthy organisation, asking for confidential information, such as credit card numbers or passwords. Information gained in this way may be passed on to criminals or used to steal money from your bank account.

You must verify the authenticity of such e-mail messages before supplying with any personal information. Real messages from your bank, or any other trustworthy organisation will almost certainly address you by name, but phishing messages often start with an anonymous greeting like “Dear User”. Some Internet Security software can spot phishing messages and prevent them from reaching your inbox.

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