Phishing is a criminal activity using social engineering techniques. Phishers attempt to fraudulently obtain sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details by acting as a trustworthy person or business via e-mail. Phishing is typically carried out using email, but an instant message or phone contact can been used. To learn more about phishing and how to prevent becoming a victim visit the Federal Trade Commission website or view our Phishing Brochure.
Spyware is a type of program that watches what users do with their computer and then sends that information over the Internet. Spyware can collect many different types of information about a user. More benign programs can attempt to track what types of websites a user visits and send this information to a business to target advertising to you. More malicious versions can try to record what a user types to try to intercept passwords or credit card numbers. Yet other versions simply launch popup advertisements.
Some viruses are programmed to damage the computer by damaging programs, deleting files, or reformatting the hard disk. Others are not designed to do any damage, but simply to replicate themselves and make their presence known by presenting text, video, and audio messages. Even these benign viruses can create problems for the computer user. They typically take up computer memory used by legitimate programs. As a result, they often cause erratic behavior and can result in system crashes. In addition, many viruses are bug-ridden, and these bugs may lead to system crashes and data loss.