I recently downloaded Internet Explorer 7.0 onto my computer. Microsoft has a new feature called Phishing filters. Phishing is one of the most deadly on-line scams for those who are not really computer savvy. I know people who do not want their parents on-line because they are so gullible. Maybe it’s you; maybe it’s your parents, but there is a new scam artist in town and it is big business. It is called Phishing and the perpetrator can reside anywhere in the world.

Here is how it works: You receive e-mail supposedly from an organization that you might know. Maybe from your bank, e-bay is frequently used. The sender doesn’t know if you have accounts with those businesses, but if he sends it to enough people, a few will connect. That’s why it is called Phishing. The e-mail will look exactly like an “official” e-mail so any unsuspecting person may click on a link in the e-mail, just what the sender wants. If that is done, you will go to a web site that looks almost exactly like the site you were expecting, but it is not the site you were expecting. The perpetrator has created his own website and that is where you go, not the real site. If you login to that site, the perpetrator now knows how to login to your real account. At this point you are toast. They could buy anything on e-bay using your PayPal account, or login to your bank account.

If you turn on the Phishing filter in Internet Explorer 7.0, the software scans every site you visit for a Phishing scheme. I consider this to be a backup in case I make a mistake. I try never to click through e-mail links to sites, but if I ever make a mistake, I now have I.E.7 as a backup. So download yours and turn the Phishing filter on, and never click through links in e-mail unless you know what you are doing. Don’t forget to protect the older folks who are not as computer savvy as you.