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Security and the Net.
Stay safe online.
How to recognize phishing emails or links
Phishing email messages are designed to steal your identity.
They ask for personal data, or direct you to websites or phone numbers
to call where they ask you to provide personal data.
Phishing email messages take a number of forms,
they might appear to come from your bank or financial institution,
a company you regularly do business with or from a social networking site.
They might appear to be from someone you know.
Spear phishing is a targeted form of phishing in which an email
message might look like it comes from your employer,
or from a colleague who might send an email message to everyone
in the company, such as the head of human resources or IT.
They might ask you to make a phone call. Phone phishing scams
direct you to call a customer support phone number.
A person or an audio response unit waits to take your account number,
personal identification number, password, or other valuable personal data.
The phone phisher might claim that your account will be closed or other
problems could occur if you don't respond.
They might include official-looking logos and other identifying information
taken directly from legitimate websites, and include convincing details about
your personal information that scammers found on your social networking pages.
They could include links to spoofed websites where you are asked to enter
To make these phishing email messages look even more legitimate,
the scam artists may place a link in them that appears to go to the
legitimate website but actually takes you to a phoney scam site or possibly
a pop-up window that looks exactly like the official site.
Watch out for verify your account.
Businesses should not ask you to send passwords, login names,
numbers, or other personal information through email.
If you receive an email message from Microsoft asking you to update your
Hotmail account information, do not respond this is a phishing scam.
The lottery scam is a common phishing scam known as advanced fee fraud,
one of the most common forms of advanced fee fraud is a message that claims
that you have won a large sum of money, or that a person will pay you a large
sum of money for little or no work on your part, the lottery scam often includes
references to big companies.
These messages convey a sense of urgency so that you'll respond immediately
without thinking, a phishing email message might even claim that your response
is required because your account might have been compromised.
Sometimes phishing emails direct you to spoofed websites.
Never click the link below to gain access to your account from a message,
always use your own link or type it in yourself in a new browser,
HTML-formatted messages can contain links or forms that you
can fill out just as you’d fill out a form on a website, phishing links
that you are urged to click in email messages, on websites, or even in
instant messages may contain all or part of a real company’s name and
are usually masked, meaning that the link you see does not take you to
that address but somewhere different, usually an illegitimate website. _________________________________________________________________
It is a fact that less than 5 percent of people understand
while more than 44 percent don’t understand firewall's at all or
know if they have one enabled on their PC, a firewall is a
necessary part of your online defence.
If your PC is connected to the Internet, you are a potential target
to an array of cyber threats, such as hackers, keyloggers, Trojans
that attack through un patched security holes, this means that,
as you shop and bank online, you are vulnerable to identity
theft and other malicious attacks. A firewall is a barrier or a shield,
(a bit like the one on the Star Trek Enterprise) between your PC
and cyber space, when anyone or anything can access your
computer any time, your computer is more susceptible to being
attacked, you can restrict outside access to your computer
and the information on it with a firewall, when you are connected
to the Internet you areconstantly sending and receiv-ing
information in small units called packets, a firewall filters
these packets to see if they meet certain criteria set by a series
of rules and blocks or allows the data accordingly, this way hackers
cannot get inside and steal information from your computer.
Basic firewall's such as the one included in Windows only monitor
incoming traffic by default, outgoing traffic, the information
you send is not checked.
A good firewall will monitor traffic in both directions, your incoming
data and your outgoing data, keeping your private information safe,
in addition to preventing unauthorized access to your PC
(and this is the good bit)
it also makes your computer invisible when you’re online,
helping to prevent attempted intrusions in the first place,
so these hackers or whatever don’t know you are on line because
they can’t see you. (like the cloaking device on a Klingon war bird.)
Most sophisticated firewall's also include a feature that continuously
updates the list of known good and known malicious applications,
this way the amount of questions relating to Internet access is
minimized and your computer protection is always up to date.
Also important to keep in mind, although a firewall provides critical
protection to keep your PC safe from unauthorized access it can’t
A firewall should be used in combination with a good virus
checker, in fact if you can buy very good security packages
that include both and other forms of protective software.
Using the internet, anyone who uses the internet without a virus checker installed is a fool, sorry to be so blunt but that’s it, if you use the internet without a virus checker installed it’s a fact that a computer will be infected on average in about 15 seconds, security will help save your computer and save you a lot of heartache and inconvenience, a lot of people don’t bother thinking that it’s just company’s that get targeted, that’s a mistake there are more home users now than ever before and with most only knowing the basics are prime targets for all kinds of theft like identity, bank account details and passwords.
Keep safe, install a virus checker they are a lot cheaper than the computer you have paid for, never buy downloadable programmes that claim they can scan your computer and look for problems, a huge amount of stuff offered on the internet is fake, they offer to keep you safe from maleware, spyware, viruses and all kinds of stuff that would make the novices hair stand on end, some places call themselves PC Health Check Centres, the truth is a shed full of this stuff infects your computer with some of the stuff I mentioned above and guess what, you paid for it.
Only buy anti virus programmes with a name you know or from a recommendation from a relative or friend and avoid downloading them from the internet.
Buy an antivirus programme that includes a firewall, this is an additional safety feature that will protect you from hackers, people trying to gain access to your computer while you are on the internet, it does this by hiding you so they can’t see that you are on the internet.
Try and buy an anti virus programme that includes a spam filter, this if set correctly will dump junk mail in the trash can.
Remember, if someone or some company is offering security while you are on the internet and you accept the offer, you could be paying them to infect your computer, if you accept a download they gain access to your computer while that download is taking place, only take downloads from sites you know you can trust or sites that have been recommended by people you know you can trust to give you correct information.
If you get mail telling you that a new virus has been found and the big anti virus Company’s don’t know how to stop it, DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT, if it was true it would be in the papers or on the telly, these e-mails go round and round the world on a weekly basis, they are designed to create huge amounts of e-mail and slow down the Internet Service Providers that we use and pay for to connect to the internet, this slows down the mail that you want or send to others, do us all a favour, if you get one of these messages please don’t send it on like it says, delete it, this sort of mail is called Spam and is responsible for over 85% of all the internet traffic in the world, so when you get one of those times that you are waiting for that important e-mail to come in, it’s because of stuff like this that your waiting, and you are passing this junk onto your family and friends, lovely. Do us all a favour, just delete it.
Get a good virus checker with a firewall have faith in it, they work better than you might think.
If you need some advice about internet security email the group mail box and I will get back to you as soon as I can, usually within 48 hours.
How can you raise your security awareness
before you make an online purchase?
Take a look at these easy tips.
First of course is to prepare your PC so you can guard
against any unwanted intrusions. Make sure your security
software (anti-spyware, anti-virus, and firewall) is up-to-date,
and that you have them in the first place. It’s important
to do this before making any online transactions.
When shopping online and providing your payment details,
always look for the mark of a secure site, the URL should
begin "https://" the "S" indicates a secure connection where the
information is being encrypted. You can also check your
browser window for a padlock icon, another indication
that a website is secure.
Stick to companies you know and trust and well-established
retailers, be aware that cyber criminals will try to use social
engineering tactics to deceive you into making a purchase.
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Consider using a separate credit card with a low credit
limit for online transactions. In the event that your credit
details get into the wrong hands, you can cut your losses.
And never give out your password, login details,
if anyone asks you for this sort of information they are not
who they say they are, even if the mail seems to come from
your bank or whatever, cyber criminals recreate the real
companies mail and logos and it looks like the real thing.
Remember, if anyone asks you for your login details or pin
they are not who they say they are because the real banks
or whatever, don't know them and would not have a use
If you have a hotmail account
and get a message like this
DON'T whatever you do
answer it, it's fake.
This Email is from Hotmail Customer Care and we are sending it to every Hotmail Email User Accounts Owner for safety. we are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of Hotmail accounts so we are shutting down some Hotmail accounts and your account was among those to be deleted. We are sending this email to you so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account. If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below.Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account.
Due to the congestion in all Hotmail users and removal of all unused Hotmail Accounts, Hotmail would be shutting down all unused Accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.
* Username: ..............................
* Password: ................................
* Date of Birth: ............................
* Country Or Territory: ................
After following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Thanks for your attention to this request. We apologize for any inconveniences.
Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to
update his/her account after two weeks of receiving this warning will lose
his or her account permanently.
The Windows Live Hotmail Team
This is a copy of one we received.
And remember, no one should ever ask for you
details for anything, if they do it's not real.
Antivirus 2009, also known as Antivirus2009, is a rogue
anti-spyware program that uses false spyware results to
lure you to purchase its full version. Antivirus2009 is
an updated version of Antivirus 2008. Other Antivirus
2009 aliases that have recently appeared on the Web are:
XP Antivirus 2008, Vista Antivirus 2008, Ultimate Antivirus
2008 and System Antivirus 2008.
Do not buy or download free trial versions,
they don’t work they just infect your computer further.
An old scam doing the rounds again.
This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all
the information, except the one piece they want.
Note, the callers do not ask for your card number;
they already have it. This information is worth reading.
By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone
Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.
The scam works like this: Person calling says,
"This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and
Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is
12460 or whatever, your card has been flagged for
an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify.
This would be on your VISA card which was issued by
(name of bank) did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing
Device or something that you would never normally buy
for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London?
" When you say "No", the caller continues with,
"Then we will be issuing a credit to your account.
This is a company we have been watching and the
charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500
purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next
statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address),
is that correct?" you say "yes". The caller continues -
"I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions,
you should call the 0800 number listed on the back of
your card (0800-VISA) and ask for Security.
You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then
gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"
Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works the
caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of
your card." he'll ask you to "turn your card over and look
for some numbers." There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are
part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers
that verify you are the possessor of the card.
These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet
purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you
to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3
numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that
the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card.
Do you have any other questions?" After you say, "No,"
the caller then thanks you and states,
"Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up.
You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you
the card number. But if you call the security centre they will tell
you it’s a scam and they will check your card, guess what, you will
find that you have a new purchase on your card for just under
the £500 that flags an alert with the card company’s, the purchase
will usually be within 15 minutes of the call made to you.
The banks or building societies will never ask for anything on
the card as they already know the information since they issued
the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you
think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get
your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make,
and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult
to actually file a fraud report.
If you get a call like this, hang up and
call your card company right away.
Known rouge anti spyware downloads.
Posted 1st February 2009.
Have you made any recent purchases to be
by the postal service? Since the holiday season,
a time of increased spending has just passed by,
there’s a common spam ploy that may try to catch
you off guard in order to infect your system with malware:
package delivery scams.
During the period surrounding the holidays,
cyber criminals up their tactics, hoping to take advantage
of more victims during this time of increased online
shopping and web browsing.
Even though the holidays are now behind us, it doesn’t mean
you can let your guard down especially if you’re
planning to use your holiday gift money or gift cards to
get a good deal at your favorite online stores.
One type of e-mail message to be on the lookout
mail that attempts to mimic a message from popular package
delivery companies, like Parcel force or something like that,
in order to con the victim into opening a malicious attachment.
In the message, the sender will claim that you need to
open an attached receipt or invoice.
For example, the subject and text may appear similar to the message, below:
Subject: [NO-REPLY] UPS Tracking Number 21263130
Unfortunately we were not able to deliver postal package
you sent/ordered on December the 18 in time because
the recipient's address is not correct.
Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect
the package at our office.
However, the attachment is nothing of the
sort, it’s actually malware.
The criminals behind these scams use a few different
tactics to feign legitimacy, and to get you to open the attached
malicious file. The message appears to come from a postal
service or post office, and the subject of the message usually
quotes a bogus tracking number.
The message contains a zipped file that is supposed to
be an invoice document from the postal service,
and invites the recipient to open the attached document and print it out.
When you unzip the attached file, it unpacks
the file or something similar.
This malware uses a very simple, yet effective technique
to look like a legitimate file, It masquerades as a Word
document by using two tricks: a ‘Word’ icon is used
and the file has, or appears to have,
the extension for Word documents, '.doc'.
For all intents and purposes the file looks
like a regular
Word document, the unsuspecting victim will double click on the file.
This is when the malware actually runs and your computer
is then infected with a host a nasties, take care.
Near holiday times like Christmas, Easter that sort of time those cards go round saying that you have missed a parcel and that you need to ring this special number, once you do you have just been fleeced for at least £15, do the checks, if the post office leave you a card it will be from the post office, are you expecting a parcel, if you are not check with people who might be sending you one before falling for one of these scams.