If you’ve been an email user for any period of time, you’ll have received your share of spam. Most are easy to identify, but some may have struck you as odd or a mistake. For example, on more than one occasion I’ve received notices from various banks telling me I had to update some information. Now I’ve gotten many emails from my bank, but the problem here is that I was never a customer of any of these banks that claimed they needed an update from me.

This type of email isn’t technically spam, but is known as a “phishing” attack. It’s purpose is to trick customers of those banks into providing their login details. They do this by designing the email to look like it’s from the bank but instead of the link in the email taking them to the bank, it takes them to a website designed to look just like their bank. The difference is when the customer tries to login they’ll most likely be presented with an error message telling them to try again later but in fact their user name and password will have been forwarded to the scammer running the fake site.

There are a number of software packages that purport to block these attacks, and while they can help they shouldn’t be relied on for truly sensitive information. Whenever I receive a email tied to an account with sensitive information (bank, broker, credit card, insurance, etc.) I skip clicking on any links within the email and instead manually navigate my browser to their home page in order to login.

This is just one example of a “phishing” attack. If you’d like to learn more about it, check out this Wikipedia article.

William Jens is a Software Developer at PagePath Technologies. PagePath was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Plano, Illinois. PagePath’s MyOrderDesk is an eCommerce solution that combines, Web-to-Print, automated proofing, pricing, reordering and more. It seamlessly integrates into a printing organization’s existing website or can be used as a standalone site. MyOrderDesk is known throughout the printing industry as the leader in Web-to-Print software.