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'Don't use social networking e-mail id for online transctions'

Security software maker Symantec today advised internet users not to use e-mail ids being used for social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter for carrying out online banking or business transactions in order to prevent stealing of financial data.

"They (internet users) should be more cautious while on social networking sites. They should have separate e-mail id for social networking site and other e-mail id for carrying out transactions like banking," Symantec MD Shantanu Ghosh told reporters here while replying to a query steps needed to be protected from cyber attack on social networking sites.

"We have observed that on social networking sites, people usually share their detail including personal ones with their friends as well as with those whom they do not know much and here they face the risk (of being attacked)," he said.

"Cyber attackers then can try to get into your e-mail ids through malware on these sites and try to steal vital information like credit card information," he said.

He said not to click on any "untrusted" link in their e-mails or social networking site as it also poses threat of stealing important financial information of the user.

Ghosh also cited an example when a malware in the name of bollywood female actress Katrina Kaif video was received by internet users on their e-mail ids in India and later it was found that the malware was intended to steal credit card information of the user.

Acknowledging that the number of malwares in the cyber world has grown to millions in India in last few years, he also stressed on be cautious on framing a secure password for their e-mail ids to avert any cyber attack.

"Some users use e-mail password as wife's birth date or anniversary day or birth year and most of these details are available on their social networking site account and it can also be misused by cyber attackers," he said.

He added that small and medium business in cities like Chandigarh, Surat, Jaipur are facing the threat of cyber attack because of less spending by small entrepreneurs on security technology and growing use of internet.

"Small cities, including Chandigarh, are sharing good amount of malware activity...(because) these companies are not spending much on security technology which makes them vulnerable to cyber attack," Ghosh said.

He said increasing use of broadband and low awareness among entrepreneurs about malwares are also some of the reasons behind their vulnerability of cyber attack.

"Augmented by broadband penetration, smaller and emerging cities of India are exploring opportunities offered by the virtual world in turn creating a new lucrative pool of targets for cyber criminals to exploit," he said.

As per the Symantec Internet Security, a sizeable 25 per cent of small and emerging cities like Chandigarh, Surat, Cochin, Jaipur are infected by malwares.

Posted on: 16 Sept 2012, 8am IST

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