A recent report by security heavyweight Symantec has shown that Phishing attacks are substantially increasing, with an extra-special warning about phishing attacks via social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Phishing attacks show a 52% month-on-month increase for September, particularly due to deployment by automated rootkits and by the use of social networks. Social network phishing incidents grew 38% month-on-month in September, the largest growth shown so far.
What can you do to ameliorate attacks?
- - Make sure your operating system is up-to-date with the latest security patches.
- - Ensure you have up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware installed on your system.
- - Having security software installed is not enough: do you run regular scheduled scans? Did you turn off your on-access scanner, and forget to turn it back on?
- - Take extra-special care not to click on links from unknown sources. Even if the source is known, doe the email seem out of character for the sender (their account may have been compromised or spoofed).
- - Be very careful on links provided via social networks. Be especially careful of shortened links, such as those used by twitter (such as bit.ly, for instance) – if you use a twitter client, make sure you use one that resolves such links, so you can see which site you are off to. Don’t know the site? Then don’t click the link.
- - Be wary of special offers that seem too good to be true, which may come via social networks or spam mail. Use a decent anti-spam software or service.
- - Finally, and this is the biggest security measure you can take: use common sense.