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Crime, crime and more crime! The Symantec Report and the huge increase in fake websites

September 14th, 2010 | Small Business | No Comments »

“We’re baaaaak!”(cue creepy music) I thought I’d do something different by giving you the theme to the twilight zone instead of Psycho’s music.Who’s back…. cybercriminals! Yes, I know most of them didn’t go away, but according to Symantec’s latest cybercrime report, 65% percent of internet users worldwide have already been victim’s of cybercrimes(see Tech Crunch’s article). You should however, take this with a pinch of salt. Cybercrime is a threat, but Symantec’s report coincides with the release of it’s latest versions of it’s Norton software.However, the figure does seem close to the actual thing. According to the report, the US ranked third among nations whose internet users fall victim to cybercrimes. Speaking of Cybercriminals, did you know that cybercriminals are creating 57,000 fake sites per week(Security Week). (scream) Guess which ones are the top 10?(cue the quiz music!) Done? Great! The top 10 are

  1. Ebay(I’ve never been on here)
  2. Western Union
  3. Visa
  4. United Services Automobile Association(better known as USAA)
  5. HSBC(it doesn’t seem to stand for anything)
  6. Amazon
  7. Bank of America
  8. PayPal
  9. Internal Revenue Service(I knew government sites were confusing, so maybe that makes them easier to duplicate?)
  10. Bendigo bank(Anyone heard of this?)

Search engines are changing their algorithms to try and mitigate the situation. However, they can only do so much.  Here are some tips for spotting fake websites.

  1. Go look at the URL. Not sure how to spell the name? If they gave you a business card, chances are they have the site URL on it, copy it exactly. Make sure the letters and numbers in the URL look right. A difference in a single letter or number can mean it’s a different site.
  2. Make sure the links work. If you’re using chrome, you can right click and open the inspect element window and if you can read HTML scrutinize the page to your heart’s content.
  3. If a site requires personal information and you’ve never heard of the business before, visit the Better Business Bureau and see if the company is accredited.
  4. If you get an email from your bank, call them.

Anyone got any other tips?

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