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Biztech Nov 9, 2009

TrusttheCheck.com – Stay Informed, Stay Secure

By Ankush Sharma

Every day, identity thieves are getting smarter at tricking people into revealing their account numbers, passwords, social security numbers and other financial information. Last year, they racked up 9.9 million fraud victims, who lost an average of $4,849 in each incident. And potential victims are not always Internet novices, as recently evidenced by FBI director Robert Mueller, who admittedly almost fell victim to a phishing site that posed as his bank.

Working within highly organised e-fraud cartels, today’s criminals are outwitting Web-savvy consumers by luring them to Web pages that look real but aren’t. They’re phishing sites, clever copies of the real thing designed to capture sensitive personal data to be used maliciously by the phisher or sold to the highest bidder on the global black market. It is all the more imperative for banks now, and more so for CIOs in the BFSI sector, to take steps to not only educate their consumers about the lurking threat, but also provide some fool-proof tools to safeguard transactions and online financial activity.

Some regulations, which were deployed at the behest of the RBI, like second-factor authentication, cheque truncation system etc have contributed significantly in instilling confidence among end users. However, as the threat is ever growing, Trend Micro predicts that there hardly would be a time sometime soon, when you plug in and escape safe and sound.

In such a scenario, VeriSign has developed TrustTheCheck.com, a website dedicated to helping consumers play safe as they surf the Web. It presents the tips and techniques consumers need to safely shop, bank, trade stocks and book travel tickets online. In addition to drawing on VeriSign’s vast knowledge repository on building online trust, TrustTheCheck.com makes information accessible to you from a variety of independent sources, including the Federal Trade Commission and Parent-Teacher Associations. In addition to offering guidance on securing personal information, the site allows visitors to take the ‘fake site challenge’, an eye-opening experience that reveals just how similar many fraudulent sites can be to the real ones.

The site allows visitors to:

- Take a crash course on staying safe on the Web
- Hear real stories and flip through videos of real people reliving their own Web security nightmares
- Ask the community questions about identity protection, viruses and worms, encryption and more. Visitors can also use the community forum to report a clever phishing e-mail or online scam
- Learn what to look for during your online transactions by getting to know the Check, a globally recognisable symbol of trust
- Listen to a video coach provide simple steps to improve privacy on social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn.

The site has been designed keeping in mind a global audience and global trends in online phishing. Moreover, people from all over the world can share their stories about their online experience. Some of the most popular topics discussed on the site include phishing, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), https, trusted sites, two-factor authentication, identity protection, Web browser security, keeping kids safe online etc.

TrustTheCheck.com features a range of other related resources, including desktop widgets, a dictionary of security terms and a primer for businesses looking to build trust online.

by Ankush Sharma

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