How do I protect myself from fraudulent websites?

This tip was written in 2011 and we still love it. However, visit the updated version with our tip here: How to Protect Yourself from Suspicious Wepsites.




Phishing site warningThere are many sites online trying to trick you into submitting your personal information. Most of the time they re-create the look and feel of a reputable site such as a bank, company, PayPal, Facebook, eBay, and other well-known sites. The practice is known as Phishing, and the Web addresses are usually official-sounding variations of the site they are imitating (for example, There are two ways to protect yourself from these sites:

Make sure Fraud Warning is turned on:

  1. Open Settings> Safari and scroll down to the Security section.
  2. Slide the Fraud Warning feature to the ON position. 
When you visit a fraudulent or suspicious site, you will see a warning (see image). Tap on Close this Page to avoid the site. Tap on Ignore this Warning to open the page if you're sure you want to visit the site.

With Fraud Warning turned on, you will be warned when you visit a suspicious site.

Another way:

Fraud web linkYou can also protect yourself from fraudulent sites by getting a preview of the Web address before you open it. We described how to do this in the article on page 79. Simply tap and hold down the link until the menu options pop up. Above the menu bar you will see the actual Web address you're going to open (or not open!).

Here's an example of an e-mail I received, supposedly from, urging me to update my information because otherwise I would suffer dire consequences. Tapping and holding the legitimate-looking link labeled "" shows that the actual destination has some long, weird-looking Web address. Because I had Fraud Warning turned on, when I tapped on Open, I got the phishing site warning.

Tapping and holding this legitimate-looking link (left) unveiled the real destination… a fraudulent site (right).

May-June 2011
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