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Top five consumer cyberthreats for 2011.

With the recent international headlines surrounding several high-profile data leaks, Internet security company Norton has issued its top five cyberthreats facing consumers across the Middle East in 2011.

Tamim Taufiq, Head of Consumer Sales, MENA for Symantec, provider of Norton solutions said, "With technology gifts and purchases surging in the winter holiday season, the fact is that the more connected we become in the Middle East, the more cybercrime opportunities are created for criminals to exploit."

Norton's Top Five Cyberthreats for 2011

1. Social media identity theft - The tremendous popularity of social media sites can come with a dark side as well. Virus writers and other cybercriminals go where the numbers are and that includes these popular sites. Beware of any unusual messages or requests from your friends online, and never give out your password to anyone.

2. Smartphone and tablet hacking - Although cyber criminals have shown little interest in mobile devices in the past, as devices grow more sophisticated and as a handful of tablets corner the market, it is inevitable that attackers will hone in on mobile devices in 2011 and confidential data loss will become increasingly problematic.

3. Beware of trending topics - Cybercriminals are savvy when it comes to the latest social trends. Whether it's X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing gossip, cybercriminals catch on to these trends and poison search engine results, which can leave users at risk of clicking on an infected link.

4. Shortened Web addresses - Internet users should be careful about clicking on shortened URLs ('Uniform Resource Locator,' the Web address). They can be found everywhere on social media sites, but the URL hides the full location. Clicking on unknown links can direct users to their intended site, or one that installs malware on an Internet connected device.

5. Pharming - Pharming is another form of online fraud very similar to its cousin, phishing. Pharmers are more difficult to detect because they are not reliant upon the victim accepting a 'bait' message, but instead redirect victims to a bogus Web site even if they type the right Web address of their bank or other online service into their Web browser.

2009 CPI Financial. All rights reserved.

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Publication:CPI Financial
Date:Dec 29, 2010
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