What is phishing?

This information applies to Windows Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Internet Explorer 8.

Online phishing (pronounced like the word fishing) is a way to trick computer users into revealing personal or financial information through a fraudulent e‑mail message or website. A common online phishing scam starts with an e‑mail message that looks like an official notice from a trusted source, such as a bank, credit card company, or reputable online merchant. In the e‑mail message, recipients are directed to a fraudulent website where they are asked to provide personal information, such as an account number or password. This information is then usually used for identity theft.

Internet Explorer can help protect you from phishing scams. In Internet Explorer 8, you can turn on SmartScreen Filter. For more information see SmartScreen Filter: frequently asked questions. In Internet Explorer 7, you can turn on Phishing Filter. For more information, see Phishing Filter: frequently asked questions.