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Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Internet intruders

Internet banking is a very convenient and fairly secure means of transacting your financial affairs. But this is provided clients take heed of sound advice from their banks. To begin with you should never respond to an email from a bank, no matter what the circumstances. It should also go without saying that one should never respond to requests for banking related information nor follow a link embedded in any email. Banks will never ask you for your login details or for you to verify something to do with your account. If you get such an email it is almost certainly a so-called ‘phishing attack’ — an attempt to discover your security details in order to commit fraud against your bank accounts. If you do respond to such requests and money is removed from your account it is highly unlikely that you will ever be compensated.

Such attacks have become very common and if you come across such an email, delete it right away and then report the incident to your bank. It might also be helpful to find out and make a note for future reference of your bank’s Internet security department as you may be able to forward details to them for investigation.
  The following are some key distinguishing features of such phishing emails:
• A request to the reader to log on to their banking service, via an embedded link;
• A request for security information (typically not just random characters but the whole password, and card details as well...);
• Be wary of all unsolicited emails, that is, those sent to you without your request. Millions of these messages are sent out every day in the hope that someone somewhere will be fooled.

To keep customers protected, banks are taking an active part in shutting down any identified corresponding fraudulent websites wherever they are in the world. Appropriate information is also passed on to local law enforcement officers. In particular, banks that operate globally are usually well placed to bring pressure on the appropriate authorities around the world in their efforts to keep their clients safe. So it makes sense if you receive a phishing email for you to forward it to the security department of your bank that deals with such matters. This can help a great deal in tracking down the fraudsters.
There are various ways to protect yourself from such unwanted messages and specific advice is available on http://www.getsafeonline.org

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:22.7 1st July, 2009
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