On Your Side: New Online Danger

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News 12 at 6, March 12, 2008

You've heard of phishing for your personal information, but now there's a new internet danger to worry about. It's called pharming.

Pharming, with a PH, is a new internet buzzword used to describe a new internet danger. And get this, your firewalls and virus software can't see it coming or stop it once it hits.

Here's how it works, you type in a legit website, but a hacker has made that web address take you to a different website that looks just like the one you were trying to go to.

Sometimes, it happens when a hacker hijacks your wireless router. The hacker puts software on your computer to redirect you fake websites that also look just like real ones.

If you enter any sensitive information there, your identity could be stolen or your bank account wiped out.

So what can you do to avoid this?

Look for a padlock icon in the browser line of any website you're on. You can also look for an "s" to come after the http to make sure you're on a secure site.

The next one and more important is, change your username and password on your router. Many people have left the default password and username and a hacker can jump in without any effort.

Change that and you'll stand a much better chance of not becoming a victim of pharming.

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