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Monday, Dec 19, 2005


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Growing risk of phishing attacks

L.N. Revathy

Coimbatore , Dec. 18

AS users gain experience, their comfort level with buying online increases. This is particularly perceptible prior to a holiday season and during the offer season. A good number of these tech-savvy buyers unwittingly fall a prey to phishing attack.

These attacks are aimed at identity theft. An in-home computer safety study conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has revealed that in America, phishing attempts hit one in four computer users each month. The study further stated that more than 70 per cent of the consumers, who received such scam e-mails, thought they were from legitimate companies, exposing them to high identity theft risk.

With phishers getting better at trapping consumers into revealing their bank account and financial information, the consumers are tricked into believing that the e-mails are from legitimate companies - such as banks and credit card companies - convincing users to surrender personal information such as credit card number and password.

Highlighting the growing risk from phishing attacks, one in five respondents to the study, said that a friend or family member had already fallen a victim to an online identity theft scam.

The NCSA study revealed that only 42 per cent were familiar with the term `phishing', clearly indicating the growing need for creating awareness among consumers to use critical protection such as anti-virus software, spyware protection and a firewall to protect users from such online threats.

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