Stay Safe Online This Holiday Season by Following Proofpoint's Seven Simple Rules
SUNNYVALE, CA, Nov 16, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --
With the busy holiday shopping season upon us once again,
Proofpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT), a leading security-as-a-service
provider, reminds consumers that as merchants gear up for "Cyber
Monday" and "Black Friday" shoppers, spammers and online scammers are
also expected to work overtime to exploit the busy holiday season.
For the past several years, Proofpoint email security researchers
have observed that the volume of attacks -- including phishing email
attacks, social media exploits and other types of malware attacks --
typically increases during the holiday season. Many of these attacks
are engineered to take advantage of the consumer mindset during the
holidays. Proofpoint once again advises consumers to look out for
holiday shopping, charity and package delivery scams that are
designed to trick them into giving away personal information,
exposing credit card numbers or banking information, or downloading
malware that gives criminals remote access to their computers or
In its October 2012 report on email security threats Proofpoint found
that, on any given day, phishing attacks represented 10 percent to
more than 30 percent of total unsolicited email volume, and this
trend has continued into the first part of November.
Security-as-a-Service vendor Proofpoint (http://www.proofpoint.com)
offers the following "Seven Simple Rules" that consumers can follow
to help ensure their online safety during the holiday season:
1. Be aware: Always view with suspicion any email with requests for
personal IDs, financial information, user names, or passwords. Your
bank, online services, government agencies or legitimate online
stores are extremely unlikely to ask you for this type of information
via email. Consumers should also be suspicious of similar emails that
appear to come from an employer or friend. Never send personal
financial information such as credit card numbers and social security
numbers via email.
Today's malicious emails and phishing attacks are disguised as
communications from all sorts of organizations, including banks,
money transfer services, government agencies, media outlets, and
package delivery services.
2. Don't click: If you receive a suspicious email, don't click the
links in the email or open file attachments from anything but 100
percent trusted sources. Links embedded in emails may take you to
fraudulent sites that look similar or identical to the legitimate
"spoofed" site. In addition to attempting to gather your personal
login credentials, these phishing sites may also automatically
install malicious software without your knowledge. Increasingly,
scammers are using link shortening services to disguise the true
destinations of their links. Instead of clicking, open a browser and
type the actual Web address for the site into the address bar.
Alternatively, call the company using a phone number you already
3. Be secure: When you are shopping online, entering important
information such as credit card numbers, or updating personal
information, make sure you're using a secure Web site. If you are on
a secure Web server, the Web address will begin with "https://"
instead of the usual "http://". Most Web browsers also show an icon
(such as Internet Explorer's "padlock" icon) to indicate that the
page you are viewing is secure.
4. Don't fill out email forms: Never fill out forms within an email,
especially those asking for personal information. Instead, visit the
company's actual Web site (using a Web address you already know) and
ensure that the page you are using is secure before entering
5. Keep an eye on your accounts: Check the accuracy of your credit
card and bank statements on a regular basis, especially during the
busy holiday shopping season. Many scammers count on consumer
inattention to get away with fraudulent charges. If you see anything
suspicious, contact your financial institution immediately.
6. Get social media savvy: Email isn't the only attack vector used by
spammers and scammers. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
are increasingly used to deliver the same kinds of scams and
malicious links to unsuspecting users. Spammers and malware writers
continue to distribute malicious, but convincing, emails that
masquerade as notifications such as friend requests or message
notifications. Keep all of the preceding tips in mind when using the
latest communication tools.
7. Make security your first stop: If your holiday includes giving or
receiving a new computer, mobile device or upgraded operating system,
install a good anti-virus or Internet security solution before doing
anything else online. Reputable vendors include F-Secure, McAfee and
Symantec. Be extremely wary of Web pop-ups that offer "free security
scans" or that inform you that your machine is infected with a virus.
Such offers commonly lead to fraudulent anti-virus solutions that are
actually malicious software.
About Proofpoint, Inc.
Proofpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT) is a leading
security-as-a-service provider that focuses on cloud-based solutions
for threat protection, compliance, archiving & governance and secure
communications. Organizations around the world depend on Proofpoint's
expertise, patented technologies and on-demand delivery system to
protect against phishing, malware and spam, safeguard privacy,
encrypt sensitive information, and archive and govern messages and
critical enterprise information. More information is available at
Proofpoint is a trademark or registered trademark of Proofpoint, Inc.
in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks contained
herein are the property of their respective owners.
Ogilvy Public Relations
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