How can I make sure I don’t get phished?

I’ve been reading a lot about people who have been phished by clicking a dodgy link on a website or an email that someone sent them. What’s the best way to avoid getting abused in this way?

There are a number of threats online and being phished is just one of them. Phishing is defined as:

…the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public.

It’s hard to avoid this risk without any protection, but most anti-virus packages nowadays include the ability to protect you from knock phishing attempts. Take McAfee Total Protection 2010 for example. It includes a set of components to protect you from viruses, spyware, spam and phishing attempts. It usually makes sense to try and get a single package that can protect you from everything; that way you can put your faith into one package. It’s currently on sale from for around $20 for a 3-user license, which isn’t very expensive for some peace of mind, isn’t it?.

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