PandaLabs, Panda Software's virus detection laboratory, has predicted that theft of confidential data on the Internet will become one of the most significant IT threats over the coming year. Panda Software is now offering a set of simple tips to safeguard the confidentiality of users' financial data.
Phishing is a type of fraud that involves email messages designed to redirect users to malicious websites especially designed to steal banking data from unwitting users. This way, 'phishers' can steal passwords and personal details to spoof users' identity and use it fraudulently. They use the name and corporate image of real companies in order to gain users' confidence and carry off the fraud. To avoid this, it is vital to make sure that all transactions are carried out in secure environments.
"The first aspect to take into account is the fact that your bank will never contact you via email to ask you for any passwords," said Mikel Perez, Director of the Malware Detection Department at Panda Software. "You should delete any messages that you receive asking for your personal details, or including a link that takes you to a web page where you are prompted to enter them. Most probably, these are fraudulent messages," he added.
It is important to make sure that the web page that one visits actually belongs to the bank that one intends to visit. Paying attention to the web page domain, and checking that there are no differences with the real domain of the actual bank's web page is vital. The internet connection needs to be safe. It can be done by checking that there is a little closed padlock displayed on the status bar of the browser, and that the web address begins with https:///. These are clear indications of a safe connection. If in doubt, check that the web page has a valid certificate by double-clicking on the padlock.
Another way to make sure of a safe connection to the company's real website is to type the entity's full web address directly in the browser; never access it through hyperlinks that might point to fraudulent websites that could enable data theft.
It is also advisable to check bank statements periodically to make sure that there haven't been any irregular movements or transactions that have taken place.
"If once you have checked all of these elements you are still in doubt, you can always find out if what you are about to do is safe by making a phone call to the bank," explains Mikel Perez, Director of the Malware Detection Department at Panda Software. "In any event, the best measure is to have a good antivirus with anti-phishing technologies that protects against fraud."
Panda Software offers users the new Identity Protect technology, specifically designed to prevent theft of confidential information, to provide maximum security for Internet connections. This technology allows a series of personal data to be classified as non-transferable, and asks the user's permission before allowing any such data to leave the computer.
Panda Internet Security 2007 is the Panda Software solution that integrates this innovative weapon to combat online fraud. It also includes the new, proactive TruPrevent(TM) Technologies, which, by means of behavioral patterns, prevents malicious code from entering computers even when the code has yet to be identified.