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Norton releases top five cyber threats for 2011

Pharming, tablet and smartphone hacking among most worrying threats in the Middle East

Norton releases top five cyber threats for 2011
Tamim Taufiq, head of Consumer Sales, MENA for Symantec, provider of Norton solutions, sais that Middle East users need to be increasingly careful online.

Norton has released the top five projected cyber threats that Middle Eastern internet users will face across in 2011.

These threats include social media identity theft and smartphone and tablet hacking.

"It's almost inevitable that 2011 will see a larger number of people in the Middle East region falling victim to cybercrime than ever before. Taking your online personal protection seriously is a key New Year's resolution, as the number of high-profile cyber attacks witnessed globally is increasing consumer fears about the threats of spending time online," said Tamim Taufiq, head of Consumer Sales, MENA for Symantec, provider of Norton solutions.

With the surging popularity of social networking, cyber criminals are targeting these sites more and more. Norton warns against letting any one know your passwords and has also warned not to accept any unusual requests or messages from friends.

Smartphone and tablet hacking is also becoming more of a worry, according to Norton. As these devices become more popular, they may be targeted more and more by cyber criminals.

"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. Users in this region need to ensure that they take proactive steps around the security and protection of their online devices and their data," said Taufiq.

According to Norton, trending topics on social networking sites can also open doors to cybercrime. Cyber criminals are able to poison search engine results for popular topics, leaving users open to heading to a fake website or infected link.

Shortened web addresses, which are found everywhere on social media sites may also be dangerous. Because users cannot see the full web address, they may be directed to infected sites that can install malware on your computer, said Norton.

The final threat the internet users in the Middle East will face next year is Pharming, according to Norton. This is similar to Phishing, but the user does not have to accept a message directing them to a fake or infected site, but instead automatically redirects victims to a bogus website even if the web address they type into their browser is correct

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