Let Your Browser Protect You Against Phishing

Take advantage of built-in features to stay safe from phishing

Phishing and surfing go hand in hand. How? While you are surfing the Internet looking for information, thieves are lurking in the background, waiting for you to visit one of their attack sites, so they can steal your precious, personal information. To prevent this from happening, put your browser to work and take advantage of its built-in features keeping you safe from thieves.

Best browser protection

If you surf the Internet, you are using a browser. Browsers are software programs that allow your computer to search and view websites, videos, and listen to audio. Firefox, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and Safari for Macs are three of the most popular browsers and all three have built-in features to help keep you safe from phishing while you surf.

One of your best protections against phishing is keeping your browser updated. If you have Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 3, you already have protection working for you while you surf.

These browsers have Phishing and Malware protection built in. They work by checking the websites that you visit against lists of reported phishing and malware sites. For a site to be listed, it must be reported as a phishing site The good news is the lists are automatically downloaded and updated every 30 minutes or so when the Phishing and Malware Protection features are enabled you are protected.

Phishing protection is automatically turned on by default in Firefox so unless you've changed your security preferences, you are already protected. You can check to see if you're protected by going to "Tools" > "Options" > "Security" and look under security preferences.

In Firefox, you can test to see if the phishing protection has been activated by using their phishing test site at the Firefox homepage. The phishing protection feature in Internet Explorer is turned off by default and each user needs to turn it on manually. To do this, the user must "opt in" to use the phishing filter. After doing so, Internet Explorer (IE) will keep a list of sites that have been checked for a certain period of time. You know if your filter has been turned on if you see an animated icon in the IE toolbar.

If you use a Mac and Safari as your browser, you need to be aware of the level of phishing protection. Safari 3.2 and up has phishing protection built in but their protection methods aren't equal to the level of security that you get with Firefox or IE.

To protect yourself against phishing, be sure you know your browser and its security features. Always download the latest updates when notified by your browser. By doing this, you can be protected from phishing without having to worry about it.

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