-- Company forecasts an increase in phishing scams, potentially claiming more victims before the new year arrives; Provides Email Safety Tips for this Holiday Season --
November 17, 2004 – FrontBridge Technologies Inc., the leader in enterprise message management and email security, today cautioned that a rise in email scams may be on the way. Previous holiday seasons show that the final month of the year will see a significant rise in spam levels.
According to FrontBridge’s spam and virus analytics team, spam percentages are likely to rise immediately following Thanksgiving, then ride a steady incline into January. Following this trajectory and taking into account data from previous years, FrontBridge is preparing for the spam monthly average to hit 90 per cent or more in December 2004.
During the 31 days in October, FrontBridge filtered more than three billion messages and 87 per cent accounted for spam. October marked the ninth consecutive month where spam percentages increased.
“The holidays are notoriously busy for spammers,” said Craig Whitney, director EMEA for, FrontBridge. “As the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear and more consumers are using the Internet and email to buy and send gifts, spammers will likely send record numbers of spam emails to close out the year on a high note.”
Additionally, FrontBridge is anticipating an increase in holiday email scams, which are becoming more sophisticated. Inbox threats, such as phishing emails, attempt to steal personal information, such as passwords, national insurance numbers, and account numbers by assuming the identity of legitimate organisations, such as banks, e-commerce sites and government agencies.
FrontBridge suggests these following tips to avoid falling victim to email scams this holiday season:
· Do not open or reply to email or attachments that request personal or financial information.
o Legitimate organisations typically do not ask for confidential information via email.
o If you have a concern about your account, use a verified phone number to make inquiries.
o Never click on a link from within an email to access a site. Always type the URL in a new browser session.
o Never click on links in questionable messages as most phishing emails direct you to a fraudulent site.
· Check online statements frequently.
o Open your financial institutions website in a new browser session to review account statements. Check for unauthorised activity and report any inaccuracies immediately to your financial institution.
· Look for secure websites.
o Avoid sharing personal or financial information via email. Transactions with financial institutions, government agencies, and e-commerce sites should be conducted over secure websites. Look for URLs that begin with “https:” The “s” indicates a secure channel. Some secure sites are marked with a padlock icon, but be wary as some fraudulent emails have forged these security icons. Make sure that your organisation is a trusted provider.
· Report suspicious activity.
o Forward illegitimate emails to the spoofed organisation. Most companies have set up specific addresses to compile information on fraud attempts.
· Don’t buy “Spamvertised” holiday gifts.
o Spammers exist because of the one in a million chance that someone will buy their product or subscribe to their service. Remove the incentive and you’ll minimise spam’s effectiveness.
· Pay attention when filling out online forms.
o The holidays mean e-cards and online photo sharing. Even legitimate sites make it easy to inadvertently sign up for a mailing list.
· Be careful giving your email address to strangers.
o Use a disposable email address if you are unsure about the organisation and how the information will be used - many sites offer free ones. If the address is sold, you’ll know who did it and if the address is spammed, it can be quickly discarded.
FrontBridge acts as a first-line of defence against phishing scams and other email-borne attacks. Its perimeter-based, preventive technology filters spam messages before they pass through a corporate gateway. FrontBridge was one of the first companies to adopt the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to authenticate email domains. It has also published SPF records for its own domain to ensure that messages sent via the FrontBridge network are accurately identified as being legitimate.
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About FrontBridge Technologies
FrontBridge Technologies Inc. is the market leader for enterprise message management and security services. Its comprehensive portfolio of managed services include spam filtering, virus protection, policy enforcement, disaster recovery, secure email and message archiving. FrontBridge managed services are delivered across the company’s SMART Network™ – a proven, reliable, on-demand, globally-distributed network of secure data centres. FrontBridge was the first company to guarantee 99.999 per cent service level agreements (SLA) and the only company with a track record of 100 per cent uptime.
FrontBridge, headquartered in Marina del Rey, Calif., provides message management and security for more than 3,000 enterprises globally. Visit us on the Web at www.FrontBridge.com or call 877.301.8232 or in the U.K., +44 20 7872.5417.
SMART Network and TrueProtect are trademarks of FrontBridge Technologies.
For More Information, contact:
Craig Brophy / Stephen Waddington
+44 (0) 20 7494 6570
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