Pharming is an attempt to defraud Internet surfers by hijacking a Web site’s domain name, or URL, and redirecting users to an imposter Web site where fraudulent requests for information are made.

To protect yourself against pharming, follow these basic guidelines:

  • Check the URL of any site that asks you to provide personal information. Make sure your session begins at the known authentic address of the site, with no additional characters appended to it.
  • Maintain effective, up-to-date virus protection. Symantec recommends Norton AntiVirus.
  • Use a trusted, legitimate Internet Service Provider. Rigorous security at the ISP level is your first line of defense against pharming.
  • Check the certificate. It takes just a few seconds to tell if a site you land on is legitimate. On the latest version of Internet Explorer and on many other commonly available Web browsers, go to "File"" in the main menu and select "Properties",or right click your mouse anywhere on the browser screen and, from the menu that pops up, click on"Properties. When the "Properties" box pops up, click on "Certificates" and check if the site carries a secure certificate from its legitimate owner.

Block suspicious Web sites automatically. Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security detects and blocks fake Web sites, making it easier for you to be confident most of the sites you are using are legitimate.