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Phishing for Ebay Passwords – Security Warning

The other day I was almost duped by an email that seemed to come from Ebay – it wasn’t the traditional phishing expedition where the email says you must reset your password and update your account will be deleted, an obvious attempt to get your password and other personal information. This email was formatted like a traditional Ebay auction update email – the same emails you get when you win an auction or the like. It appeared to be from another Ebay user who was angry that I had not followed up on an auction I’d participated in and stated he was going to file a complaint.

Because I knew I had not participated in an auction recently, my first reaction was that someone had hijacked my Ebay account and was using it to commit fraud. I made a mistake – usually when I get emails like this I NEVER click the links – I go directly to the website on my own and log in. This is an exra layer of protection against phishing expeditions. I broke my rule – fortunately I am so protected on my computer I got an immediate warning in IE that this was a phishing site. I immediately went to ebay and changed my password just in case.

This was a close call and a reminder to be sure you always keep security in mind when using the Internet.

1. Don’t click in emails if you have the least doubt about their authenticity – or if anything about it alarms you (by alarming you, phishers get you off-guard)
2. Keep you browser updated to the latest version – there are significantly more security protections in the later generation browsers. If you have not updated your browser in years, you are likely quite vulnerable to these types of attacks
3. Keep your virus and firewall software updated – set it so it checks for updates automatically upon start up (or at a certain time each day if you keep your computer on 24/7.
4. Use very secure passwords. Lowercase words that can be found in the dictionary are not secure. Many sites now force you to choose a password with at least one capital letter and one number or symbol. These are the most secure – especially if you use 8 characters or more.

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