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New Federal Fraud Education Website

f you are looking for a spam/spyware/phishing resource for your online customers, is a good resource, especially for novice users.

Onguard_spywareThe site is sponsored by The Federal Trade Commission, Dept. of Homeland Security, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, and The United State Postal Inspection Service. They also had some help from the private sector, with some content provided by Microsoft and The Internet Education Foundation The site also lists a number of other partners, but does not disclose their contribution. None of the listed partners are closely associated with the financial services industry.

The main content areas cover:

  • ID theft
  • Spam scams
  • Phishing
  • Spyware
  • Shopping
  • P2P file sharing
  • VoIP

The information is thorough and presented in a audio-visual format that is easy to digest (click on inset to see a closeup of the homepage). The videos from Microsoft are particularly well done. And surprisingly there is no plug for the software giant, they don’t even have a logo on the site.

The interactive Flash games are a little on the hokey side, but they get their points across. The Stop-Think-Click: 7 Practices for Safer Computing is very well written and hopefully will become widely circulated in the popular press.   

Action items
Financial institutions should use the site either as a direct resource for customers or as a blueprint for the material which should be presented in a bank’s security and privacy area. The 7-point Stop-Think-Click material is especially useful to present to users.

The only slight hesitation we have about referring customers directly to is that it may be somewhat overly frightening. We think it’s better to cover these issues yourself so you can provide reassurances along the way as to how you are helping solve these vulnerabilities.

But for those who haven’t the resources or budget to create your own security center, this is a good reference point.