Clarify Technical Services - Tip #3

Phishing: Online protection against identity theft.

Applies to: Internet browsing behavior.
Last updated: Sunday July 24, 2005


Phishing  is a simple concept, which is to try to trick people into disclosing their bank account details, so that the attacker may then log in to the person's Internet bank and withdraw their savings. Organizations other than banks which have accounts that allow the customer to administer money or other items of value are also affected. This includes credit card companies, credit unions, and some Internet retail sites. Amazon, Chapters, PayPal, Visa, and eBay are some non-bank sites that have been attacked to date. Sites have even been known to ask for Social Security Numbers as well as Social Insurance Numbers which lead to outright identity theft. Other online services such as MSN, Yahoo messenger, and various webmail services like Hotmail and Yahoo Mail have also been targeted.

I know that most of the people reading this are fairly internet savvy. However, many of us are also responsible for helping relatives, friends, and neighbors who are not as technical. In order to help protect these people that may inadvertently go to one of these phishing sites, there is a simple toolbar that you can install on their computer. Netcraft is a well known and highly respected internet services company specializing in network security services, including fraud detection. They are making this toolbar available for free. It checks all sites against known phishing and fraud sites and will block the site. You can read more details by visiting


  1. Visit the Netcraft site at and download the toolbar.

    You will find a download link at the bottom of the page I have linked to. Follow the links in the install tutorial for the Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox download follow the simple instructions.
  2. Install the toolbar

    The toolbar can also be deactivated by unchecking  "Netcraft Toolbar" on the View" "Toolbars" submenu.
  3. You have completed the procedure. Just make sure you show people how to use it.