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UK Online Banking Customers Should Not Be Complacent

A recent survey by banking association APACS (Association for Program Administrators of CSTEP and STEP Inc.) claims that many UK users are unaware of the fundamental security measures they could imbibe to keep their identity and bank information safe from online criminals.

APACS in UK is employed to coordinate the banking industry's initiatives in countering online banking frauds and gathering loss figures. The association estimated the total banking losses over the Internet in 2005 as 23.2 million pounds, which is expected to grow this year.

Although Internet users know about the existence of scams such as 'phishing' and 'Trojan attacks', they remain self-satisfied. According to APACS, around 15.7 million people use Internet regularly to access their savings, credit card and current accounts. It advices them to be prepared if they don't want to be the targets of the fraudsters.

The survey revealed that among its total participants, half a million people responded to an unsolicited e-mail and entered their personal details. This technique is called 'phishing' designed to acquire customers' security details. Less than half of the respondents regularly updated their anti-virus software; only one in ten 'online banking customers' had installed anti-spam software on their computers; and less than one-third had a firewall.

Aged users should be more careful, as 70% of them said they never changed their passwords and only 50% above age 55 kept their passwords in their memory rather than written somewhere.

According to director of corporate communications at APACS, Sandra Quinn, the research reveals that still some people were not doing enough to save themselves. This, along with huge phishing attacks in the beginning of this year, leads to an expected rise in 'online banking' fraud deficits in the initial six months of 2006.

The Internet has revolutionized the process of shopping and banking. It is also very safe if a user follows two simple rules: using a protected PC and being cautious of unsolicited e-mails. If an unsolicited request for personal information appears legitimate, then the receiver should contact the institution rather than direct the exchange on his PC.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

» SPAMfighter News - 04-10-2006

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