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Internet fraud increases as economy slows

A recent survey conducted by Unisys Security Index has shown that many Australians believe the economic downturn will increase the risk of identity theft and financial fraud, with 63 percent of respondents concerned about their online security.

“The latest Unisys Security Index shows an increase in concerns about the security of online activities such as shopping and banking as well as growing concern about financial fraud,” Unisys Asia Pacific vice-president Andrew Barkla said.

Consumers are increasingly becoming concerned about people obtaining their credit card details online, along with their personal information and email accounts.

Barkla believes that in tough times, people need greater reassurance that their “private and personal information is securely protected against fraudulent and criminal activity.”

The survey comes after Symantec released their Internet Security Threat Report Volume XIV highlighting the increase of malicious activity online, most prominently the report found a 92 percent increase in spam from 119.6 billion messages in 2007 to 349.6 billion in 2008.

Similarly, the report found that the underlying threat for consumers is the misuse of their credit card and personal information.

Symantec spokesperson David Dzienciol said that attackers are “targeting user information for financial gain, with financial motivation dominating “90 percent of attacks.”

Marc Fossi, executive editor, Symantec Internet Security Threat Report XIV said that consumers have to be extra vigilant about their security practises.

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