The term "phishing" is used to describe a method of manipulating email accounts in order to obtain, or "phish" for consumer information. Such hackers who practice phishing have been known to pose as legitimate, reputable companies such as your internet service provider, banks, or any other known organization. They will claim that you have credit or billing issues and lead you to a site to fill out a form of your personal information.
NEVER give out your personal information unless you know who you are giving it to. If a company other than your employer or banking service asks for your social security number that should be your first tip-off that you should do some research before providing any information. You should know exactly why and for what use your information is being requested. If you are concerned that the email may actually be from the company it claims to be, call that company directly- you can find the phone number on your billing information. They will be able to verify the legitimacy of the emails.
Another useful tool is "ID Theft" and "No Phishing" logos on the webpage, which can help you to verify the validity of the site. Remember, "when in doubt, delete!"
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