The threats posed by spam are always evolving, and phishing is one of the most recent scams the spammers have come up with.
Your most important protection against phishing is vigilance and a healthy skepticism. You can, however, supplement this with Anti-phishing software programs
Anti-phishing software works by detecting phishing content that may be contained in an email. It is generally used in conjunction with your email service as a toolbar. This toolbar will display the real name of any website you visit and expose any spoofed websites that phishers may attempt to use.
This software offers a second line of defense for blocking phishing attacks and sites that might have foiled and bypassed by your browser’s built-in protection. Here are a few of them:
Earthlink Toolbar Scamblocker
Offers a check towards a phishing blacklist of sites. Checks the owner and location of the web site. Prevention against phishing and pop-ups. Earthlink offers a free browser toolbar that includes ScamBlocker, an application that protects you against phishing scams and phishing pop-ups. It will, for example, warn you when you attempt to connect to a website that is on Earthlink’s blacklist of fraudulent sites. It will analyze each web page that you visit and display a security rating of the webpage on its toolbar.
Netcraft Anti-phishing Toolbar
When one recipient of a phishing email reports it, the relevant URL is blocked for the rest of the Netcraft community members.
It will display for you the website’s hosting location, which will help expose fraudulent URLs. Say, for example, you are on the bankofamerica.com website, the hosting location is unlikely to be in Poland.
The toolbar will also detect any web addresses that contain letters or characters that are only used in the URL to deceive.
This free toolbar is also designed to protect against phishing, identity theft, and internet fraud. It does real-time checks to let you know if a web site you are visiting has been verified by a legitimate third party organization, and if it is therefore safe to transmit your confidential personal information. It is the internet equivalent of a credit check.
Stopzilla Anti-Spyware 5.0
STOPzilla works by detecting and blocking Phishing Attacks, Popup Ads, Spyware, Adware, and other malicious applications. It also provides hijack protection.
Spybot – Search and Destroy
This is a free Anti-Spyware application. An important feature of this application is that it will Write-protect your computer’s HOSTS file, which is a primary target of phishers’spyware.
Webroot’s Phish net
Phish Net employs a dynamic blacklist to protect against phishing. The application stores your data such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. When you visit a site and attempt to enter this information, a pop-up will alert you that it is not on your list of trusted sites, and will expose any redirects that may be involved in the transmission of your data. It will also verify that the site has an encrypted connection before it transmits the data.