OK Class!  Who can give me a definition of Phishing? PhishTank, a free, reputable service online: Phishing is a fraudulent attempt, usually made through email, to steal your personal information. The best way to protect yourself from phishing is to learn how to recognize a phish.

Today let’s examine how phishing is being used via online marketing.

Has this happened to you?

You receive an interesting Facebook Message, direct email, or link in a message forwarded from a friend who wants to share something online with you that appears to be too good to be true.  Is your Spidey Sense tingling yet?

It goes something like this:

Amazing, FREE Webinar!  You don’t even have to attend!  Just sign up in advance and you get free workshop materials, audio, and an online marketing plan delivered to your mailbox for free!!

If you subscribe to our Super Sleazy Lessons series of tutorials we’ll throw in not one, but two months worth of free mentoring by the very best in the business today!!

Still unconvinced?  How about we throw in our Sleaze-O-Matic? It’s valued at $150, but we’re giving it away because we know how much you’re going to LOVE this series!!  CLICK HERE to begin.

Sorry if this got you reaching for the Pepto!!

Pink Pepto Bismol bottle
Does something smell phishy?

Now imagine, if you will, that the ad you see is much better written than that schlock and that you want to invest in a subscription for credible sounding lessons from a known source.  You go to an official looking page, enter your personal information and credit card number, ironically enough so you can “start saving money now.”  It all looks familiar and safe.  There’s a cute little locking icon and graphics that promise a secure transaction.  And a guy half way around the world with a criminal record just stole your juicy little credit card number and is ready to spend.

What happened?!

In our imaginary scenario, you clicked on a link that said something trustworthy sounding.  And ended up somewhere else.  Probably Russia or China.

How you can tell the difference:

√  Hover your mouse over their links and look at the bottom bar of your browser.  Do they make sense with what’s written there?  For example, here’s a link about alligators.  Or is it?  I typed “alligators.” I wrote “alligators” for the title.  But if you’d clicked on that link you would have found yourself on this nefarious site, reading about a college lecture.  Good thing I warned you! 😉

Your Turn!

Have you or anyone you know ever been phished before?  How did it happen?  Please scroll down to the comments box and share your experience. Thank you!!

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