Sunday 16 September 2012

Maintain separate e-mail ids for social networking and banking: Symantec

Symantec Managing Director, Shantanu Ghosh, in his statement to reporters, while addressing a query pertaining to staying protected against cyber attacks on social networking sites, said that users should keep their e-mail ids for social networking separate from those for carrying out financial transactions. This, he said, will help prevent incidents of theft of one’s crucial financial data.

“They (internet users) should be more cautious while on social networking sites. They should have separate e-mail id for social networking site and other e-mail id for carrying out transactions like banking,” Ghosh was quoted as saying further.

Ghosh went on to highlight that people tend to share their personal details on social networking sites such as Facebook with their friends and sometimes even with those whom they do not know very well. This is risky as it makes them vulnerable to cyber attacks. "Cyber attackers then can try to get into your e-mail ids through malware on these sites and try to steal vital information like credit card information," he said.

Importantly, Internet users have been advised against clicking on suspicious links on their emails or social networking site. This too is potent of causing the theft of a user’s crucial financial details. "Cyber attackers then can try to get into your e-mail ids through malware on these sites and try to steal vital information like credit card information," he was quoted saying further.

Among other things, Ghosh shared that a malware using the name of popular Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif video was received by internet users on their e-mail ids in the country. Shockingly, it was later found that the malware was intended to steal credit card information of the user.

Speaking of cyber security, Ghosh soon picked up the topic of framing secure passwords, and the importance of having a strong password. He, quite rightly pointed out that some users pick their spouse’s birthdate, or anniversary date or their own birth year as their password. Such information, Ghosh stressed was easy to find on their social networking account and hence was easy to exploit.

While doing so, he acknowledged that the spread of malware in the country has been rather explosive over the past couple of years.

Another important point put forth by Ghosh was that small and medium businesses in cities across Chandigarh, Surat, Jaipur found themselves more vulnerable to cyber attacks since they spent less on security technology, while still using the Internet considerably. He added that rising use of broadband and low awareness among entrepreneurs about malwares also led them to being more prone to cyber attacks.

"Augmented by broadband penetration, smaller and emerging cities of India are exploring opportunities offered by the virtual world in turn creating a new lucrative pool of targets for cyber criminals to exploit," he added.

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