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Definition: a type of fraud carried out by sending out e-mail that pretends to come from a bank or corporation with which the victim has an account. The e-mail message tells the victim to click on a link in order to handle some kind of urgent business. In reality, both the message and the link are counterfeit, and the victim ends up giving his or her password or credit card information to the phisher, or at the very least, visiting a web site that disseminates MALWARE. To protect yourself from phishing, do not click on web links that arrive in e-mail. Instead, when you want to contact your bank, type its web address yourself. Some web browsers detect links that are known to be phishing sites, but this is not perfect protection because phishers often change their addresses.
Source: Downing, Douglas, et al. Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms. 10th ed. New York, 2009. Print.