PUNE: An invitation to a Bollywood Holi party in your inbox may entice you, but there are chances that the slightest carelessness you show in responding to such an email will drain the colour from your face.
Cyber goons may be exploiting your festive mood through such 'offers' to rob you of your personal information and money, say experts.
Antivirus software and internet security solutions developer Symantec has warned that fake emails and social networking feeds that offer free passes for Bollywood parties or share celebrity updates are likely to proliferate around festive times. "It is that time of the year when social media witnesses a spike in malicious activities; cyber criminals won't miss the opportunity to scam you or steal your personal information," a statement from Symantec has said.
Ritesh Chopra, the firm's country sales manager, has said in the release that a user should be careful when clicking on links or responding to notifications and abide by social media etiquettes, which go a long way in securing personal information and reputation online. Chopra said one should keep social media settings private, so that only selected friends can find you and post or respond on your profile.
"Using tools such as Safe Web to scan news feeds on Facebook and identify URLs containing security risks such as phishing sites, malicious downloads and links to unsafe internet sites will help," he said.
The note said people should be responsible when socialising offline as well, as the risk existed even when users of digital devices are offline. During Holi parties and get-togethers, when everyone is in a playful mood, mobile devices can easily be lost or stolen, putting personal identity and privacy at stake, the statement added.
"It is important to set a password to lock the keypad of the device and to make sure mobile security software is up-to-date, Chopra said. He added that people should never click on links received in text messages and be cautious before pairing mobile devices with public WiFi networks.
In another statement, Symantec said internet sites of Indian information technology companies have now become the top targets for phishing attacks. The latest Symantec intelligence report on phishing sites has revealed that IT sites were the most vulnerable amongst the websites targeted by phishers in 2012.
While educational institutions were at the top of the most targeted websites in 2011, they ranked second in 2012, the report said. The report has classified most targeted Indian sites in various categories and said the highest number of phishing attacks (14.4%) were on websites of IT companies, followed by those of educational institutes (11.9%), product sales and services players (9.8%), industrial and manufacturing firms (7.3%), and tourism, travels and transport operators (5.8%).
"This implies a new wave of phishing attacks on various organisations as cyber criminals become more sophisticated. Phishers continue to pursue Indian sites across many disciplines to host their phishing pages," Symantec has said.
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