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How to avoid being ‘phish’ bait
Following the alarming rise in internet fraud and ‘phishing’ attacks in the Middle East, here’s some advice on protecting yourself when banking online.
April 10, 2010 11:12 by Katherine Azmeh
“Online fraud is borderless,” insists ReadiMinds CEO, Naren Nagpal, pointing to results of the company’s 2009 survey of major Middle Eastern banks on issues related to transaction security and online financial fraud prevention. Three-quarters of respondents rated their own financial institution’s ability to counter online security threat as ‘average’, and nearly all respondents reported that their financial institutions were victims of online fraud last year. Poor hiring practices and inappropriate employee access to technology/systems were cited as major contributing factors to online banking fraud. Online fraud prevention was named by respondents as a foremost security issue.
As the devastating consequences of phishing scams make headlines in the region, it is critical that customers get savvy about best practices when banking online – asking the right questions and observing recommended safeguards.
Ask your bank if they employ the latest security technology and protocols, such as data encryption systems, which ensure that information is not intercepted by others. Authentication technology helps ensure that bank clients are communicating with the correct server – not an imposter posing as the bank. And data integrity programs watch for alterations in data that suggest tampering. All of these applications, combined with the latest firewall and anti-virus programs, should be employed by banks.
Ask your bank about surveillance software to monitor for unusual spending patterns. This alerts bank personnel when repeated or unusual types of transactions post to a client’s account.