Aussies still ignorant about 'phishing'

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Sydney, Oct 4 (UNI) An alarming numbers of Australians who conduct many important monetary transactions on the web are ignorant about phishing -- an online fraud -- and neither are they adequately protected against it.

Phishing is a type of online fraud that tricks people into supplying sensitive information to someone they should not, through spoof websites or phony emails, often offering lucrative deals.

As many Australians use online auction sites, online shopping, social networking websites and online banking, they are becoming potential phishing victims, a Galaxy survey has found.

The Galaxy survey, commissioned by eBay, found one in three Australian internet users believed people had to be ''dumb'' to fall for a phishing scam, but 72 per cent of respondents were engaging in risky online behaviour, The Age reported.

The survey of 647 internet users found seven out of 10 were at risk of becoming phishing victims.

Alastair MacGibbon, director of trust and safety at eBay Australia, said phishing attacks were becoming increasingly sophisticated.

''Even the most experienced internet users can fall prey to phishing attacks, but there's no reason to be afraid of using the internet,'' Mr MacGibbon said.

Mr MacGibbon advised internet users never to reply to emails that asked for personal information, and said they should get a safe browser and update their anti-virus software.

Meanwhile, a Symantec Internet Security Threat Report for the first-half of 2007 said there had been a growth in the number of hackers trading malicious code and stolen information through their vast underground network.

The report was based on data collected from more than 40,000 sensors deployed in more than 180 countries.


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