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Heightened Consumer Concern about Phishing in 2007

Cloudmark Inc., the company that deals in carrier-grade messaging security, declared the results of a survey that Harris Interactive conducted across the US on its behalf. The results revealed that in United States, 89% of online adults are now more worried about falling prey to a phishing scam than they were in 2006.

Of those in the poll who are scared about phishing scams, 77% said their concern increased after they heard that the problem of phishing is growing day-by-day. Almost 45% are getting more phishing e-mails in 2007 than they did in 2006. Another 27% of the poll respondents said they are unable to distinguish between a legitimate e-mail and phishing e-mail. A high 23% said that they knew of some other person who had fallen for a phishing attempt.

Many Internet users, a significant 82%, think that Internet Service Providers (ISP) should also be responsible for safeguarding users against phishing attacks.

Consumers today can hardly keep pace with the immense volume and sophistication of phishing attacks all by themselves. Some phishing Websites look so real and authentic that they can deceive even the most-savvier user on the Internet, said a spokesman for Cloudmark, according to Cloudmark Inc news. Vnunet.com published this on August 29, 2007.

VP of marketing, Cloudmark, Bassam Khan, said that they could not understand why people continued to engage in potentially risky online behavior despite increased awareness among consumers about phishing, as per the company's press release. Marketwire.com published it on August 29, 2007.

The survey showed that of those who are more worried about phishing assaults, some have literally decreased their online activities. This behavioral change is likely to act unfavorably on online transactions and businesses. 29% use some specific accounts or credit cards rather than all when they purchase items online; 21% clear only specific bills over the Internet; and 20% have cut on their frequency of online shopping.

Apart from phishing, consumers are also concerned about other malware. For instance, consumers worried about viruses, account for 38%, spyware -35% and spam -30% compared to that in 2006.

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