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Celebrating 17 Years of Connectivity

  • 06 August, 2008 07:00

<p>17 years ago English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee made his World Wide Web project available to the public. Today, it is estimated that more than 1.4 billion people across the globe benefit from his project. However, the increasing popularity and usage of the Internet has also made it an attractive target for a new generation of cyber criminals as a moneymaking tool.</p>
<p>Often, these cyber criminals create malicious software or codes that can be injected into trusted but vulnerable websites or sent as an email attachment. Once an Internet user visits these infected websites or opens the attachment, their computer would be silently infected, allowing the criminal to gain access to personal documents and information. Subsequently, the infected computer can possibly become part of a botnet to further fuel the criminal’s malicious activities.</p>
<p>“As Internet users become increasingly more aware and cautious of email threats, cyber crooks are turning to more sophisticated methods such as social engineering tactics and drive-by downloads to lure unsuspecting users into visiting and clicking through infected websites. The variety of social engineering tactics includes malware masquerading themselves as latest news or pictures on current political events, natural disasters or even updates from social networking websites,” said Chia Wing Fei, Security Response Manager, F-Secure Security Lab.</p>
<p>“Besides utilising more advanced techniques, these cyber criminals are also churning out a higher volume of malware more efficiently with the use of malware kits. Just last month, we detected the 1 millionth piece of malware. This is a 100 per cent increase from what we experienced last year,” Fei continues. “Although there is no foolproof prevention method, users can minimise the risk of identify theft and online fraud by following best practices from security experts.”</p>
<p>To help ensure the online wellbeing of consumers and enterprises, F-Secure offers the following tips to Internet users:</p>
<p>• Ensure your computer is equipped with a comprehensive, up-to-date and proactive security solution.</p>
<p>• Install the latest patches and application updates to fix all vulnerabilities, have your firewall enabled and keep your security software updated constantly. If possible, enable the “Automatic Updates” function on your security software. F-Secure also offers the complimentary F-Secure Health Check that allows Internet users to perform a comprehensive over-the-web check on the overall security status of their PC, including the operating system, web browsers, email clients and other application software. The service is available at http://www.f-secure.com/healthcheck.</p>
<p>• Do not follow links from email, especially those asking you to confirm your details or verify your bank account, update your password or certificate.</p>
<p>• Do not simply post your bank account number, credit card number or any other sensitive personal information publicly on the Internet. Be careful to only reveal such information to trusted sources and on encrypted https websites.</p>
<p>• Use a strong and complex password for your online accounts. Your password should be at least 10 characters long containing a combination of numbers, symbols, uppercase letters and lowercase letters. For ease of recall, a pass phrase can also be used. When performing bank transactions online, enquire if your bank offers two-factor authentication such as token-based or SMS notification services to verify online transactions.</p>
<p>About F-Secure Corporation</p>
<p>F-Secure Corporation protects consumers and businesses against computer viruses and other threats from the Internet and mobile networks. F-Secure’s award-winning solutions are available as a service subscription through more than 160 Internet service providers and mobile operator partners around the world, making F-Secure the global leader in this market. The solutions are also available as licensed products through thousands of resellers globally. The company aspires to be the most reliable security provider, helping to make computer and smartphone users’ connected lives safe and easy. This is substantiated by the company’s independently proven ability to respond faster to new threats than its main competitors. Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Finland, F-Secure has been listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange Helsinki since 1999. The latest news on real-time virus threat scenarios is available at the F-Secure Data Security Lab weblog at http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/</p>

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