While it’s smart to be aware of the most common signs of a spoofed email or website, it never hurts to arm yourself even further against phishing and its telltale signs. There are many simple-to-use types of software out there that are specifically designed to address phishing threats. Using this type of software is not overkill; after all, if your information falls into the wrong hands, you could be in for a world of hurt. The best part is that there are plenty of free options out there, so you don’t have to spend a bunch of money. Learn more about your anti-phishing software options by checking out the information below.
How Anti-Phishing Software Works
Whether it is integrated into your web browser or operates in a standalone way, anti-phishing software works in a simple but very useful way. Information about known phishing scams and phishing sites are stored within these programs. That information is used to alert you if you stumble upon a potentially dangerous site. In the case of a browser-based program, an alert may pop up at the top of your browser’s window; in the case of standalone software, an alert may pop up at the bottom of your screen. Some types of software automatically redirect you, while others give you the option of staying or leaving.
All anti-phishing software is not created equal. Some types of software miss the mark and erroneously identify legitimate sites as phishing sites. It pays to do a little research before downloading and installing anti-phishing software. Studies through the years have returned mixed bags of results in terms of the effectiveness of various types of anti-phishing programs. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft deemed Internet Explorer as the best anti-phishing program out there. The NetCraft toolbar, the EarthLink scam blocker and SpoofGuard have also received high marks. Options by Google also tend to be highly rated.
PhishTank SiteChecker and GFI Mail Essentials are two popular examples of anti-phishing software. There are also many popup-blocking programs that work well; many phishing attacks are conducted via popup windows. If you are in the market for an antivirus program, you could always choose one that includes anti-phishing features. Several of them are available, and it is nice to have everything integrated into one easy package.
If you use Firefox or Chrome, you already enjoy a pretty decent amount of anti-phishing protection. Those two browsers are automatically equipped with Google Safe Browsing, which used to be available as a separate download. If simplicity is your top concern, you should consider using one of those browsers to avoid the majority of phishing attacks. There are also many different toolbars that can be installed on today’s most popular browsers. Make sure to do a little research before you select one program. You can learn from the mishaps of others by reading reviews and testimonials. It pays to avoid anti-phishing software that does more harm than good.
There is no such thing as being too protected against phishing scams. At the same time, you should never rely solely on software to keep yourself safe. Learn how to identify common phishing scams and how to recognize phishing emails and phishing sites. That knowledge will go a very long way towards keeping you safe.
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