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Phishing Treating College Students as Easy & Constant Targets

According to Jim Fatz, Director of Information Security & Operations at Northern Illinois University, online phishing attacks are continuously rising, and they are increasingly targeting college students, as reported by NorthernStar on January 14, 2009.

Moreover, security experts think that it is easy to target students because they rely on a number of communication methods like e-mail and social networking websites to interact with each other. Its not just the existing students, but even numerous alumni keep using the e-mail IDs of the campus after graduation, and this gives rise to phishing scams.

Furthermore, during 2008, there was a significant growth in localized phishing campaigns, particularly against university campuses, in which official looking electronic mails pretending to be from the scholarship or financial department of the school were entered the students' inboxes. This is especially dangerous for individuals who are handling their own funds. According to security company McAfee, such phishing attempts are expected to rise significantly in 2009.

Recalling a phishing incident, a former college student Mary McMullen narrates how she became a target of the attack. According to her, someone had captured her debit card, while she remained totally unaware of the happening, as reported by NorthernStar on January 14, 2009.

McMullen also said that she was a regular purchaser of books on an unprotected website. One day, she found that her personal credentials had been compromised when she saw her bank statement that contained transactions she never made. Since then, McMullen says that she has been extra vigilant while buying items over the net. Now she always ensures the site she is browsing is secure, by searching the bottom right hand corner of her browser for the 'security' padlock.

Meanwhile, Fatz, who says that phishing can't be eliminated, advises students not to rely on anyone regarding their account data when surfing on the Internet.

Besides, security specialists from the Internal Revenue Service have recommended that students must overlook e-mails coming from unknown people and not open any doubtful attachments, as they could contain malware capable of harming their PC.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

» SPAMfighter News - 1/30/2009

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