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Pharming fraud is a fraud that involves redirecting the victim to a fake website to steal their information.
System error: beware of this internet fraud. Photo: Getty Images

The Pharming is a modality of computer fraud consists in redirect the victim to a fake internet page via pop-up windows to steal your information. Impersonate the domain of a website and usually shows legends like: “error in the system” either “To solve it, click here”.

The National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Users of Financial Services (Condusef) recommends that check before clicking on suspicious pages or respond to emails that tell you that you have won a prize, trip or sweepstakes, as they usually ask for your personal information to commit Pharming.

Image: Condusef

The federal agency also advises you to verify that the website you are browsing has the security protocol: “https://” and a security lockso that in this way you avoid being a victim of financial fraud.

How does Pharming work?

A cyber criminal installs a virus or Trojan on the victim’s computer which changes the file hosts of the computer to drive traffic to a fake website. You don’t need to convince the victims to click on a questionable email link or suspicious advertisement.

Also, can poison a DNS server (it is the software that translates IP addresses to domain names) so that users visit the fake site without realizing it. In this way, it collects personal and financial information to use in identity theft.

How to know if you have been a victim of Pharming?

Companies dedicated to computer security point out that to protect you from Pharmingyou must first install an antimalware and a powerful antivirusas well as adopt preventive practices. If you have been a victim of this computer fraud you have received:

  • PayPal charges or credit or debit card you don’t recognize
  • publications or messages on social networks that you did not publish
  • Friend requests or connection of your social networks that you did not send
  • changed passwords in any of your online accounts
  • New programs appear on your device that you did not download or install

How to avoid a Pharming attack?

  • Clear your DNS cache
  • Run an antivirus to remove malware
  • Get in touch with your Internet provider
  • change the passwords of all your online accounts
  • Follow the suggested procedures for online banking, email and social media fraud

How to protect yourself against Pharming?

  • choose a Internet provider of good reputation
  • Use a trusted DNS server
  • Do not click on links or open unknown attachments
  • check the urls looking for typos
  • Avoid websites that look suspicious
  • Avoid offers that are too good to be true
  • Enable the two-step authentication
  • Change the default settings of your Wi-Fi router
  • Change the default password and use a secure one for your private network
  • Use an antivirus and antimalware and keep them updated

With these steps you will avoid as far as possible being a victim of Pharming.

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