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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Social Engineering - The Real E-Terrorism?

One evening, during the graveyard shift, an AOL technical support operator took a call from a hacker. During the hour long conversation the hacker mentioned he had a car for sale. The technical support operator expressed an interest so the hacker sent him an e-mail with a photo of the car attached. When the operator opened the attachment it created a back door that opened a connection out of AOL's network, through the firewall, allowing the hacker full access to the entire internal network of AOL with very little effort on the hacker's part.

The above is a true story and it is an excellent example of one of the biggest threats to an organisation's security - social engineering. It has been described as people hacking and it generally means persuading someone inside a company to volunteer information or assistance.

Examples of techniques employed by hackers include:

  • Unobtrusively observing over your shoulder as you key in your password or PIN.
  • Calling helpdesks with questions or being overly friendly
  • Pretending to be someone in authority.

Social engineering attacks can have devastating consequences for the businesses involved. Accounts can be lost, sensitive information can be compromised, competitive advantage can be wiped out and reputation can be destroyed.

By implementing some simple techniques you can reduce the risk of your organisation becoming a victim or, in the event that you are targeted, keep the consequences to a minimum.

  • Make sure that all staff, especially non-IT staff, are aware of the risk of social engineering and what to do in the event of such an attack.
  • Conduct regular security awareness training so that all staff are kept up to date with security related issues.
  • Implement a formal incident reporting mechanism for all security related incidents to ensure there is a rapid response to any breaches.
  • Ensure that the company has security policies and procedures in place, that all staff are aware of them and that they are followed.
  • Put an information classification system in place to protect sensitive information.

Conduct regular audits, not only on IT systems but also on policies, procedures and personnel so that any potential weaknesses can be addressed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dialing Up a Scam: Avoiding the Auto-Dialer Virus

For many, the daily walk to the mailbox evokes mixed feelings: The glee that your favorite monthly magazine – or a friend’s hand-written letter (quite a surprise in the e-mail age) may be waiting is countered by anxiety of how many bills the postman left you.

Now, imagine coming across your phone bill, thicker and heavier than normal. When you open it, instead of “statement stuffers” from the phone company’s marketing department, the bill is dozens of pages long ending in a one-month total of almost $5,400.

A quick glance at the details reveals hundreds of calls to the same 1-900 number. “A mistake,” you insist. After all, you're the only person in the house and you have never called a 900 number before. Actually, this is no mistake. In this true story, the homeowner had fallen victim to one of the oldest computer scams around: the "Auto-Dialer" virus.

How Did This Computer Security Nightmare Begin
What is an “auto-dialer”? Some time ago, the phone companies came up with a feature that allowed merchants to reach a broader range of customers by allowing consumers to make payments via your phone bill. If you did not have a credit card, you just dialed a 900 number, connected by voice or modem (for Internet sites). Every minute you used the service, you were charged a fee ranging from $1 to $5 or more per minute. At month’s end, the charge appeared on the phone bill. Many services were legit: Consumers called weather, horoscope and gambling services offering this feature. But many merchants sold expensive phone or online adult content.

How Did An Auto-Dialer Get Installed
But how did $5,400 in charges end up on the person’s phone bill? Although many of these services require the user to physically dial the number or connect to the online site by instructing the modem to dial the number, this can happen without the user’s knowledge. In the above case, the person’s computer was infected with an auto-dialer virus. Somewhere during his Web travels, he connected to a site that popped up a rather confusing message instructing him to "Hit OK" to make the message go away. What this person didn't know was he was agreeing to download,install, and execute an adult content auto-dialer.

Behind the scene, the auto-dialer installed itself, checked for the presence of a modem and dial tone, and then proceeded to dial an overseas 900 number over and over again. Even though the person surfed using an always-on broadband Internet connection, the modem remained so he could send and receive faxes. One problem: When he wasn’t using the modem, it remained plugged into the phone jack. Why should he have unplugged it? It's not like it could hurt anything, right? Wrong.

How To Protect Yourself
Unfortunately, there is no single solution to avoid these types of malicious acts. A short list of protective measures would include:

1) If you no longer need a modem in your computer, remove it. Or at least disconnect the phone line from the modem;

2) Install anti-virus software such as Trend Micro or Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus. Many are designed to prevent this kind of malicious software, or “Malware.” More importantly, make sure your subscription for new virus patterns is current and configured to automatically download and install updates;

3) Install and regularly run Adware protection solutions such as LavaSoft's Ad-Aware or SpyBot Search & Destroy;

4) And do not, under any circumstances, blindly hit “OK” to pop-ups or similar annoyances without first making sure what you are agreeing to.

This tale is not fiction; in fact, it happens frequently, to businesses and consumers, kids and adults. But even the least savvy among us can thwart such an attack. A neighborhood teenager recently avoided potentially thousands in fees when an auto-dialer was downloaded and installed. How? She had unplugged the modem.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Be Aware of Phishing Scams!

If you use emails actively in your communication, you must have received various messages claiming to be from Ebay, Paypal and a number of banks. A recent email as if from U.S. Bank Corporation that I received contains the subject "U.S. Bank Fraud Verification Process" and in the body of the mail it says "We recently reviewed your account, and suspect that your U.S. Bank Internet Banking account may have been accessed by an unauthorized third party. Protecting the security of your account and of the U.S. Bank network is our primary concern. Therefore, as a preventative measure, we have temporarily limited access to sensitive account features. To restore your account access, please take the following steps to ensure that your account has not been compromised:". It continues with a link to a webpage, which looks very similar to original web page of the bank.

The misleading web site appears authentic with familiar graphics and logos. The wordings are professional right down to the legal disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

If you happened to be holding an account of the claimed bank, followed the instructions of the email and input your account, pin, password, etc. you are doomed. You just have handed over access to your account to a con artist, who, in a matter of days, will drain off all the money available in that account.

This new scam, which is proliferating in a very rapid pace, is called "Phishing". Phishing is a form of identity theft, where a con artist with the help of official looking email containing link to phony web pages capable of harvesting information, tricks an unsuspecting victim into divulging sensitive personal data. Scammers use these data to bilk victims out of their savings.

One of the most common phishing campaigns being waged has targeted users of Web auction giant eBay and its PayPal division with financial services giant Citibank serving as another popular target. However, recently, every major bank has been hit with this scam. Crooks send out huge amounts of emails with an expectation that some of these email address owners may have online access to their accounts at the bank.

The term "Phishing" is a deviation of the word "Fishing". In hackers’ lexicon, in many words, "F" becomes "Ph". The term derives from the fact that scammers use sophisticated bait as they "fish" for users’ personal information.

According to Gartner, a research firm, illegal access to checking accounts gained via phishing has become into the fastest growing type of consumer theft in the United States. Roughly 1.98 million people reported that their checking account was breached in one way or another during the last year and US$ 2.4 billion were defrauded from the victims!

Gartner also estimated that 57 million U.S. Internet users have received phishing emails and 3 percent of them may have fooled into revealing their personal sensitive information.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group has also spotted a dramatic increase in reports of phishing attacks in recent months. Since November, 2003 phishing scams increase by about 110 percent each month. In April alone, the group identified 1125 unique phishing scams, a sharp lift of 178 percent from the previous month.

MessageLabs, a company that watches phishing scams closely, has noted an even more dramatic increase in number of phishing emails. It claims to see phishing messages jump from just 279 in September, 2003 to a staggering 215,643 in March of 2004.

The scammers also started to use more sophisticated technologies in recent months. The latest generation of phishing scammers uses several methods to trick users, including pop-up graphics to mast the true web URL of the phishing site and the installation of Spywares and Trojans on victim’s computer. The perpetrators also take advantage of security bugs in web browsers, in which the URL in the address bar appears to be for one site but is, in fact, a link to a totally different site.

A new Windows worm under the name "Korgo" is able to infiltrate into victim’s system with a key logging Trojan, steal information that the victim input in web forms and secretly transmit to designated server. There are a number of variants of this worm and they are spreading rapidly. However, Microsoft in April came up with a patch to seal this glitch. Many computers without the patch are still vulnerable to this potentially dangerous worm.

A U.S. Treasury report provides consumers with steps to prevent and report phishing scams:

  • Do not respond to or open any e-mail that warns that an account is about to be closed. Contact the company directly by phone and inquire of this e-mail.
  • Do not submit financial information unless there is a symbol for a locked padlock on the browser's status bar. Also look for the https:// at the beginning of the Web address. If both of these signs are absent, the Web site is not secure.
  • Always review your bank statement and credit card statements immediately upon receipt.
  • Verify the domestic telephone number listed on the Web site through directory assistance or other reliable sources and call the number. Many phishing attacks have originated outside the U.S. and don't have a domestic number.
  • Report suspicious activity or if you have been defrauded to the FTC and the FBI.
  • Phishing e-mails can be forwarded to Complaints can be filed at Phishing attacks can also be reported to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at

Other cautionary measures you should take in order to protect yourself are:

  • Since most of the phishing emails come through spam, get a spam filter and install on your computer.
  • If you suspect a phishing attempt, report immediately to the bank. Every bank web site has a link or a toll-free number to report scams. Don't be ashamed if you were tricked into divulging account information. If you report it immediately, your account will be protected until you receive a new PIN.
  • Change your password and PINs regularly. Banks advise that you use separate PINs and passwords for different accounts, that way if one gets compromised, your entire financial life won’t be revealed. - If you are a frequent user of EBay, download its Web browser toolbar, a small program that runs with a user's Web browser. It flashes red when the user visits a possible spoof site. The toolbar uses a database of spoof site URLs, submitted by customers and is updated quite often.
  • Check your computer frequently for possible Trojan virus.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Internet Security Basics 101

The explosive growth of the Internet has meant that thousands of people are today experiencing the joys of being online for the first time. With growth there always comes pain. Be it your growing pains as a child or the growth and development of this part of our culture called the Internet.

Firstly we need to quickly explain what the Internet is and where it came from. The Internet is the offspring of a military project called Arpanet. Arpanet was designed to provide reliable communication during global nuclear war. A vast network of interconnected computers was set up all over the world to allow the various branches of US and NATO forces to communicate with each other.

Nuclear war never came (thankfully) and the world was left with a massive network of computers all connected together with nothing to do. Colleges and universities started to use these computers for sharing research internationally. From there it grew and spread outside colleges to local homes and businesses. The World Wide Web was born and its father was a guy called Tim Berners Lee.

When you're connected to the Internet you're sharing a vast network with hundreds of millions of other users. This shared network provides resources that 15 years ago were never thought possible. Unfortunately when something is shared its open to abuse. On the Internet this abuse comes from hackers and virus creators. Their sole intent is to cause chaos and/or harm to your computer system and millions of other computer systems all over the world.

How do you combat this? You need an Internet security system. This might sound complicated but your Internet security system will be quite straigtforward being comprised of just 2 - 3 Internet security products. We'll look at each of these products in more detail now:

AntiVirus Software

The first and most critical element of your Internet security system is antivirus software. If you don't have up-to-date antivirus software on your PC you're asking for trouble. 300 new viruses appear each month and if you're not constantly protecting your system against this threat your computer will become infected with at least one virus - it's only a matter of time.

Antivirus software scans your PC for signatures of a virus. A virus signature is the unique part of that virus. It can be a a file name, how the virus behaves or the size of the virus file itself. Good antivirus software will find viruses that haven't yet infected your PC and eliminate the ones that have.

Antivirus software can only protect your computer from viruses trying to infect it via email, CD-Rom, floppy disk, Word documents or other types of computer files. Antivirus software alone will not keep your computer 100% safe. You also need to use firewall software.

Firewall Software

The use of firewall software by home computer users is a relatively new occurence. All Internet connections are a two way process. Data must be sent and received by your computer. This data is sent through something called ports. These are not physical things rather aspects of the way your computer communicates online.

Firewall software watches these ports to make sure that only safe communication is happening between your computer and other computers online. If it sees something dangerous happening it blocks that port on your computer to make sure your computer stays safe from the person who is trying to hack into your system.

An easier way to understand a firewall would be to picture your computer as an apartment complex. At the front door of this complex there is a security guard. Every person who enters the complex must pass this security guard. If the security guard recognizes the person entering as a resident he allows them to pass without saying anything. If, however, the person entering the complex is unknown to him then he will stop that person and ask for identification. If they have no business being at the apartment complex he escorts them from the building.

If you are not currently using firewall software your computer will get hacked into - that's a guarantee.

PopUp Blocker

You can get a good popup blocker at no cost. An easy way to do this is to install either the Google or Yahoo toolbar. Both of these come with popup blockers built in. Popups are not necessarily dangerous but are a nuisance and using either of these toolbars will make your life that bit easier.

A simple rule for practicing online security is: "If in doubt then don't". If you don't recognize the file, the email address, the website or if your gut feeling says "no" then don't click that button.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Data Recovery and Causes of Data Loss

Although processing and storing data on a computer is efficient, cheaper and easier, proper care should be taken to protect it from damage. For example, imagine a financial institution having credit and debit information of all the customers stored on a computer. If the company does not have any copy of these data elsewhere and the computer breaks down, there would be no way they could track down these information details. As a result, there is a risk of not knowing who are the creditors and debtors and the company stands a chance of going bankrupt.

Causes of data loss

The information on a computer is stored on hard drive. Data loss on a hard drive could happen due to a variety of reasons and some of them are as follows:

  • Virus on the computer

  • Formatting of the hard drive

  • Physical damages to the drive

  • Hard drive head crash

  • User might have inadvertently deleted the data on the drive

  • Power failure before the user could save the file

The data could also be stored on removable media such as CD, floppy or pen drive. The data on these devices could also be lost due to some of the above reasons. The loss of crucial data necessitated the need for a means to recover them and this led to the development of various techniques to retrieve the data.

Data Recovery: The Process Involved

As the name implies, data recovery is the process of retrieving the data from a crashed hard drive or storage device. There are various methods that can be employed for data recovery depending upon the type and severity of data loss. For example, when data on a hard drive is lost due to software corruption by virus, data recovery is usually done through parallel reinstallation. In this process, a fresh copy of the operating system is installed without deleting the existing one. Since the previous copy of operating system has crashed, the data stored in the hard drive is accessed and retrieved through the new copy of operating system.

People generally assume that data recovery is not possible in a lot of cases such as data loss due to power failure or formatting of hard drive. However, in most of these cases, data can be retrieved with the assistance of a data recovery expert. There is also data recovery software available in the market that helps you with the process even without the assistance of an expert.

Service Offerings

There are various companies providing data recovery services in the market. However, it is important to choose a reliable data recovery company. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your data forever or end up paying more than what it is worth.

Fields Data Recovery has been in this industry since 1992 and has its presence in a lot of countries around the globe. Excellent recovery rate and high profile clients such as IBM, Reuters, Warner Brothers Entertainment, etc. stand as a symbol of credible service offered by them. They provide quality service in recovering data from hard drive and all types of removable media.

Precautionary Measures

Instead of losing your important data and then worrying about retrieving it, you could try to prevent the problem even before it strikes. Here are some of the useful tips to avoid data loss:

1. Always have a back up of your important data. This way even if you lose the data on the hard drive you can use the copy of it stored on the CD.
2. While travelling with your laptop or moving your desktop, be careful to avoid jerks that could disturb the hard drive head and cause data loss.
3. Virus mostly spreads through e-mail attachments and might destroy the data on your computer. So avoid opening e-mail attachments from strangers.
4. Have an updated copy of anti-virus software on your computer that can prevent virus attack.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The need for a Vista Registry Cleaner

Computer users worldwide are feeling threatened by the increased number of viruses and registry errors. The Internet is the main cause of all that, being full of harmful programs and websites. The only way to run your computer at its entire capacity and avoid possible problems is to install protection shields with the latest anti-virus software and a Vista Registry Cleaner.

Windows Vista is one of the supported platforms for one of the best registry cleaners out there, meaning PC-Cleaner. This program was designed by IT specialists, hoping to eliminate registry errors and corrupted entries. The final results of a registry loaded with plenty of unnecessary entries are terrible. First of all, your computer starts to proceed more slowly then you end up with complete failure and data loss.

By doing a complete scanning, the Vista Registry Cleaner is able to find all the troubles that your computer experiences in terms of Windows Registry. This being the part of the PC where info is stored, it is kind of vital to keep it running in good shape and not load it with unneeded files. The scanning is accurate and complete, locating all bugs and helping you system to work faster.

The problems that a Vista Registry Cleaner such as PC-Cleaner is trained to annihilate are various. You can recover the command of your computer after it eliminates difficulties with: add/remove programs, application paths, help and resources plus startup programs. This type of Vista Registry cleaner can not only help you with the ones mentioned above but also with many others among are included shared dlls, shared folders and windows fonts.

The Windows Registry is a large database of information that must be handled with care. Regrettably, many of the registry errors encountered are due to bad programs and low-quality websites. The registry repair application can really be of help in case of error messages such as iexplore and system 32, not to mention the regular freezes you computer might experience.

If you are interested in registry repair, then you should know that PC-Cleaner is the best possible choice. It is a program that analyzes every single piece of your computer and comes up with a comprehensive list of erorrs, being ready to take care of them. The troubles that affect the Windows Registry may be severe and only get worse with time. Start taking care of your computer and choose the registry repair application offered by PC-Cleaner; it is powerful and simple to implement.

The scanning can be done manually or you have some custom options to choose from. Either way, by using PC-Cleaner you can be sure that your computer will work without any problems and to further prevent any of them, you can schedule a regular scanning. The registry repair is perfect to restore your system and get rid of those despicable registry entries. The most important thing is to purchase a registred copy in order to be able to benefit from the program at its full capacity.

There are certain features recommended to be used only by advanced users. They include the backup function in order to produce a copy of the previous registry. The custom scan and shortcut settings are also part of these features along with file associations and uninstaller. One can certainly benefit from such a program, made especially to handle registry entries and wipe out any possible errors.

Using a genuine Vista Registry Cleaner can bring you lots of advantages and in the long run extend the lifespan of your computer. Choose an application that is safe to use and implement, one that protects your Windows Registry and aids your computer to perform well, if not impeccable.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sensors and How They are Used

A sensor is a device that responds to an input quantity by generating a functionally related output usually in the form of an electrical or optical sight. There are many different types of sensors: position sensors, load sensors, tilt sensors, and vibration sensors to name a few, and they are present in multiple fields that warrant the technology.

In the past twenty years there has been tremendous growth in the number of products and services that utilize information acquired by monitoring and quantifying different types of sensors. Sensors have been produced to match the need of these afore mentioned services, and is referred to as sensor technology. Sensor technology encompasses a broad range of services including those applicable in the environment, medicine, commerce, and industry.

Organizations of the relevant areas are realizing the implications of encouraging the growth of sensor technology. Most sensors are electrical or electronic, though other types exist. Sensors are used in everyday life with applications in areas such as automobiles, machines, medicine, and robotics.

Sensor Networks
Sensors usually work in a network, called sensor networks. A sensor network is a group of specialized transducers with a communications infrastructure intended to monitor and record conditions at varying locations. Areas commonly monitored include temperature, humidity, pressure, wind direction and speed, illumination intensity, vibration intensity, sound intensity, power-line voltage, chemical concentrations, pollutant levels, and vital body functions. This intelligent is achieved by using solely or a combination of the tilt, load, vibration, and position sensors mentioned in the introduction.

A sensor network can be broken down further into multiple detection stations called ‘sensor nodes.’ Each sensor node is minute, lightweight, and portable. Each node is equipped with a transducer, microcomputer, transceiver, and power source. The transducer generates electrical signals based on sensed physical effects. The microcomputer both processes and stores the sensor output. The transceiver (being hard-wired or wireless) receives commands from a centralized computer and transmits data back to the computer. The power for each sensor node is derived from the electric utility or from a battery.


Sensors and Sensor Networks can be applied to:

- Industrial automation
- Automated and Smart homes
- Video surveillance
- Traffic monitoring
- Medical device monitoring
- Monitoring of weather events
- Air traffic control
- Robot control


Sensors are classified according to the type of energy transfer they detect:

- Thermal
- Electromagnetic
- Mechanical
- Chemical
- Optical and radiation
- Acoustic
- Motion
- Orientation
- Distance

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Internet Privacy and Online Privacy Tools

Looking at the different types of identity hijacking that are reported all of the world on a daily basis and considering that the information these perpetrators use come directly from the victims, you will be glad to know that there is an easy way to make your life a safer place and to keep your information and your family’s information safe. Internet eraser software is a new state of the art security system for your PC. With the help of internet eraser software, now protecting your private information on you hard drive just became a whole lot easier and more effective. Don’t take the risk of not knowing where your personal information is being used, take control of your life and keep your private information where it belongs, with you and private.

Think of internet eraser software as your car alarm. Your car alarm works to let everyone around know that your car is being broken into, so someone can do something about it. In that way internet eraser software works as a prevention system, so you will never have to live in fear of identity hijacking. Some of these internet eraser software tools comes with a built in shredder system, so you can get rid of those highly confidential documents, when traditional deleting is just not good enough. When you delete something in the traditional manner your hard drive merely covers up that document with other information, and it is still retrievable with certain software. For this reason look for an internet eraser software with the built in shredder, so you can rest assured that all your important documents are well taken care of when you are done with them.

Keep in mind that, good internet eraser software comes with cookie managers and stealth mode (so it can protect you while you work and you will not need to do anything to be safe), it also comes with scheduling and emergency keys set up (so you can do all the deleting you need in less time with more effectiveness). Do your banking, surfing, studying and everything else you do in the comfort of your own home the way it was meant to be, safe and private. So don’t delay or you will become a victim of those identity hijackers that are popping up all over the world, install internet eraser software on your PC and keep your family’s information safe. You have everything to lose if you do not act now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Clear Yahoo History and Clear Google History Tools

Whether you use your PC as a personal hub for online chatting, gaming, or writing your daily journal or whether you use your PC as a professional workstation for internet banking, online meetings with clients, daily scheduling and diary planning, your information is at risk. Whatever you use your PC for, you will, at least once a day, use your personal information, like your social security number, date of birth, home address and the like. If you are connected to the internet, hackers from all around the world have access to your personal files and information. Stop hackers in their tracks and install internet eraser software.

It is one thing for a family member to go through your personal files without your permission, but it is an entirely different thing when someone you do not know takes over you life with that same information. Identity hijacking is a growing business these days, and it is good for everyone to know that a huge percent of the information that these hijackers use come from the victims own personal computer. It is in your best interest to get and install good internet eraser software on your PC. This will make a huge difference in your life and will keep your information and the information of your family members safe and private, like it was meant to be.

Internet eraser software is a new state of the art security system for your PC. It works without you even knowing, it is protecting you every second of the day, while you are working on your computer. Whenever you type a word or letter on your keyboard your computer saves the information into a hidden directory. A directory that might be hidden to you, but if you know what you are looking for, like those hackers out there, you will find anything. Your information is not safe on your hard drive, and internet eraser software knows that. This is why it works covert, deleting all your personal information, which you don’t save on your hard drive, while you are working.

A lot of the newer internet eraser software comes with built in shredder device, so you can choose to totally destroy highly confidential records if you so wish. The shredder device was added to the internet eraser software because deleting is just not good enough, as your hard drive stores information under other information, which makes it retrievable to outside influences. You also get features like the cookie manager, stealth mode, scheduling and hot keys, so you can do everything you need to do with one click of a button. Start protecting your family today and install this state of the art software.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How To Improve Customer Trust In Your Online Shop Or Auction Website

Internet fraud is on the rise. As fraud becomes more profitable, it also becomes more sophisticated and difficult to detect. As a result, tech savvy web users are looking for trust worthy sites to shop at. But how trustworthy are the current solutions? Are they just superficial but ineffective against the ever technically improving internet-fraudsters?

Typically, a number of means are employed to improve the trustworthiness of a site. These include superficial approaches like designing a site that looks professional, using recognized payment processors like Paypal etc. While these measures do not improve the sites security they may improve customer confidence as a professional looking site must be operated by a professional reputable company. At least that is what some customers will think.

Certificates are used to further increase customer confidence. Many online users are becoming familiar with the use of certificates and the small padlock that appears near the address bar to signify that the site is secure. While certificates and SSL can increase the integrity of data flowing to and from the website, they do not guarantee that the site does not have a security hole. They do not guarantee that the company that purchased the certificate is reputable. Certificates give a false sense of security to customers as in themselves, they cannot secure a site.

Does the software platform you use improve security? Not many companies code their own online shop from the ground up. Even fewer do it well enough to be secure. Most companies buy a pre developed package like CubeCart etc. These packages often do not get upgraded to plug the latest security threats. While this approach offers customers a professional interface, it does not improve security.

Site security scanners are another way to improve customer confidence but do they improve site security (typically by displaying a hacker proof logo or something similar). In cases where shops use standard packages like CubeCart, these scans can detect versions and potentially spot problems. These scans cannot effectively cover all types of sites and may be ineffective on certain sites. Only one security vulnerability needs to be missed for a site to be insecure. While these scanners cannot detect all security vulnerabilities, they can produce a level of confidence for potential customers.

Website hosting providers. Many web traders place a lot of faith in their online hosting providers. There are however a lot of providers out there that do not secure their systems properly and leave their customers open to certain types of attacks. This is an area that your potential customers may not be able to see. While the hosting agent you choose may not help improve the trust of your customers, it may improve your site security.

A further way of improving site security and trust is to have the site/product/service recommended by customers that have used the site previously. This is how eBay gains the trust of potential buyers, by using their feedback system. The only way for this type of system to work for home grown sites is if the feedback system is managed by a trusted 3rd party. This type of feedback system is available free from Pubble Hill and can be integrated into any site using their free API. The API includes features that also allow your site to automatically upload products to the Pubble Hill directory. They also offer the worlds only independent search engine that allows customers to search for products based on the sellers reputation.

In conclusion, there is no real security measure that will make your site bulletproof. However, a combination of all the above will help increase your customers confidence and make your site more secure.

Sean has over 10 years R&D experience in high-tech industry. His strengths are spotting new ideas and technologies that have the potential to change the way business is done.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Is Your Internet Surfing Really Private?

Imagine you are surfing from your personal desktop or laptop, no one looking over your shoulder or sitting nearby. You are all alone. Wrong! From your computer identity to your personal details, you are no longer anonymous on the internet. Here's the company that you keep on the internet preventing you from surfing anonymously.

Hackers take advantage of your computer vulnerabilities to install small programs on your computer which record and relay your keyboard input. Then your information and passwords are used to hack into your bank accounts, credit cards and other financial institutions and cause you immense loss. In a similar manner, your lack of anonymous surfing leads to your professional data being stolen by hackers.

Advertisers find easy access to your computer and follow your internet activity to annoy you with popups or banner ads or both, even when you are not online. You also get bombarded with junk emails advertising products making your mailbox a spammers' heaven. Without anonymous surfing, you will find advertisers accompanying you on the web at all time.

Hijackers use tracker cookies planted into your computer to stop you from anonymously surfing. These cookies follow your surfing patterns and then hijack your searches, with or without your knowledge. Hijackers don't take your consent to install cookies and you end up on websites of hijackers' choice. Do anonymous surfing to prevent hijackings.

Con Artists send you mails disguised as those from your bank and other financial companies. Some conmen even send mails announcing you as winners and asking for your financial details. Once you give financial details you find yourself conned out of your savings. You need to practice anonymous surfing to avoid such traps.

Mischief makers abound on the internet looking for browsers without anonymous surfing habits. They use unauthorized downloads to infect your computer with viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and other harmful programs. This can lead to loss of control over your own computer. You need to keep your computer safe from mischief makers and do only anonymous surfing.

Family and Work colleagues can easily trace your internet activity from the tracks you leave on your computer. The only way to prevent this is to do anonymous surfing.

With so many disrupters and scammers, not to mention people you know, following your internet browsing you can't have any internet privacy. Safeguard your web privacy by using anonymous surfing software. Anonymous surfing software will ensure that not only is your browsing private, your data and information is also safe and secure.

If you are not using anonymous Internet surfing software, your online activities are easily tracked. Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing is anonymous web surfing software that keeps your web surfing private and secure.

Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing combines thousands of private anonymous proxy servers with 128-bit SSL technology, to ensure the highest level of protection and anonymity. Anonymous Surfing hides your online identity, hides IP address, the web sites you visit, and any information you transmit.

Friday, April 18, 2008

7 Tips for Improving Your Internet Security

Here are 7 tips you should take to heart for the security of your computer and the data it contains.

1. Always make backups of your documents and other important information stored on your computer. There is always the chance that malware can damage your operating system beyond repair. Take heed. It's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Keep your Windows operating system updated with the latest security patches from Microsoft. Windows is the most popular operating system on the planet, and consequently it is the favorite target of hackers. Also locate and install patches for your Office programs.

3. Install a software or hardware computer firewall. There are no excuses for neglecting this one. If you are using Windows XP it's built in. Go to the Security Center and make sure it's enabled. If you do not have a firewall, viruses, worms, trojans, malware and adware can all easily enter your computer via the Internet.

4. Install an antivirus program and use it! Your computer is under a constant threat while online. Make sure you have the automatic update feature enabled, and schedule it to update virus definitions on a daily basis. You can also schedule scans with most antivirus software. I have mine set to scan every night.

5. Turn off your computer and disconnect it from the internet if you are not using it. Hackers can't attack your computer if it's off line.

6. Refrain from opening e-mail attachments. Don't do it even if you recognize the sender. I use the delete button judiciously.

7. Don't run programs from unknown origins. Be especially careful with P2P sites, shareware software, and freeware applications.

Follow these tips and your computer will run longer and have fewer problems.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Protecting Your Pc Against Viruses

Viruses have been the scurge of computer users for many years now. Over the years, the viruses have become more sophisticated and sinister. With the amount of sensitive financial information we store on our computers in this day and age, it is imperative that we have a strategy to protect our PC and data from the multitude of viruses out there.

There are a number of good free anti-virus software programs available to download on the internet. Just goto your favourite search engine and type in 'free anti virus software' and find a good program you can download and install on your PC. When looking at all the available options, you want to make sure the software has the ability to automatically download and install the latest virus signature files. This will ensure that you are always protected against the newest threats out there.

If you have a broadband connection, and therefore your PC is always connected to the internet, you will want to make sure you have a robust firewall installed. This will protect your PC against direct malicious attacks. There is the possibility that your OC could be used as a bot (or part of a robot army network of PSs) and used for malicious attacks on other OCs and businesses. Go back to your favourite search engine and type in 'free firewall software' and download a program and install it. These programs take a while to 'learn' which sites to trust, so you will need to be patient and guide your software while it learns.

Last, but not least, you will want to install anti-spyware software. Some virus programs have this feature, or have this software come bundled with it. Make sure you have it installed and run it regularly to pick up other threats such as spyware and adware.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Protecting Your Pc Against Viruses

Viruses have been the scurge of computer users for many years now. Over the years, the viruses have become more sophisticated and sinister. With the amount of sensitive financial information we store on our computers in this day and age, it is imperative that we have a strategy to protect our PC and data from the multitude of viruses out there.

There are a number of good free anti-virus software programs available to download on the internet. Just goto your favourite search engine and type in 'free anti virus software' and find a good program you can download and install on your PC. When looking at all the available options, you want to make sure the software has the ability to automatically download and install the latest virus signature files. This will ensure that you are always protected against the newest threats out there.

If you have a broadband connection, and therefore your PC is always connected to the internet, you will want to make sure you have a robust firewall installed. This will protect your PC against direct malicious attacks. There is the possibility that your OC could be used as a bot (or part of a robot army network of PSs) and used for malicious attacks on other OCs and businesses. Go back to your favourite search engine and type in 'free firewall software' and download a program and install it. These programs take a while to 'learn' which sites to trust, so you will need to be patient and guide your software while it learns.

Last, but not least, you will want to install anti-spyware software. Some virus programs have this feature, or have this software come bundled with it. Make sure you have it installed and run it regularly to pick up other threats such as spyware and adware.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Protecting Your Pc Against Viruses

Viruses have been the scurge of computer users for many years now. Over the years, the viruses have become more sophisticated and sinister. With the amount of sensitive financial information we store on our computers in this day and age, it is imperative that we have a strategy to protect our PC and data from the multitude of viruses out there.

There are a number of good free anti-virus software programs available to download on the internet. Just goto your favourite search engine and type in 'free anti virus software' and find a good program you can download and install on your PC. When looking at all the available options, you want to make sure the software has the ability to automatically download and install the latest virus signature files. This will ensure that you are always protected against the newest threats out there.

If you have a broadband connection, and therefore your PC is always connected to the internet, you will want to make sure you have a robust firewall installed. This will protect your PC against direct malicious attacks. There is the possibility that your OC could be used as a bot (or part of a robot army network of PSs) and used for malicious attacks on other OCs and businesses. Go back to your favourite search engine and type in 'free firewall software' and download a program and install it. These programs take a while to 'learn' which sites to trust, so you will need to be patient and guide your software while it learns.

Last, but not least, you will want to install anti-spyware software. Some virus programs have this feature, or have this software come bundled with it. Make sure you have it installed and run it regularly to pick up other threats such as spyware and adware.

Monday, April 14, 2008

AVG Free Anti Virus Scan

AVG are one of the forerunners in the field of free anti virus software. Despite offering a free version of their product, they have continued to invest in technology and remain at the cutting edge of the fast moving computer security industry.

The company behind the range of AVG Anti virus products is AVG Technologies (formerly Grisoft). The name comes from the first product that they brought to the market called Antivirus Guard. The company is Czech in origin and was started back in 1991.

The free version of he software is available for home users to use on single workstations. It is extremely popular and has been downloaded more than 70 million times. An important feature of the software is its low system requirements. This means that it will efficiently carry out its detection without slowing down (or crashing) your machine.

The company no longer offers technical support for the free version of the product. For this you will need to pay the modest fee to upgrade to the professional version.

The professional version also offers some extra protection - anti spyware detection and anti-rootkit. With the increasing threat of identity fraud due to spyware, this is a feature that many people will welcome. Some malicious programs, such as keyloggers and trojans, use rootkit technology to hide in your computer. The anti-rootkit makes it possible to detect them.

For total protection AVG also offer an Internet security suite. This product includes an anti spam module and firewall. This is intended to give you complete piece of mind when on the Internet. This particular product does have higher system requirements, so it may affect your PC's performance.

AVG remain a dominant force in the computer security industry. Whether you choose their free anti virus software or upgrade to a fully featured product, you are sure to be getting a good deal.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dirty Little Computer Viruses and How To Protect Yourself

Whether you have learned your lesson from a past experience with a nasty computer virus or have been pressing your luck by surfing the web and downloading various files or opening those email messages sent to you by people you don’t know without any real understanding of just how vulnerable you really are each time you log onto your computer you now have the opportunity to discover what steps you can take to avoid such an annoying and many times destructive infestation.

Listed below are some of the guidelines you can follow in order to keep those nasty viruses from making a mess out of your computer and your life.

•Purchase and install a well respected antivirus software program and be sure to set it up so that it automatically runs when the computer starts up each time.

•Make sure to keep your antivirus software up to date by either using the automatic update feature that many come with or make it a habit to manually check at least once or twice a week for updates on your own.

•Set your antivirus program to scan for potential viruses each time you open a word-processing document like the ones that get sent through email. Viruses found in word-processing documents are called Macro Viruses.

•When purchasing software make sure to only buy from vendors that are well known and from ones you trust.

•Resist swapping data with the use of floppy disks or other mobile storage devices between various computers. If exchanging programs between computers is unavoidable just make sure to scan the storage device(s) for viruses before transferring data from one computer to the next.

•If using floppy disks to transfer data make sure to format them before using them for the first time.

•Never use pirated software. This is both illegal and a very good way to invite an unwanted computer virus.

•When downloading software from the internet do so as little as possible. There are many neat programs available on the internet, but unfortunately there are many viruses that go along with them also.

•If you must download programs from the internet ALWAYS scan them for viruses BEFORE opening them up to install on your computer.

•Probably the most important and neglected method of disaster recovery are periodic backups of all important files found on your computer. Should a virus happen to get through your lines of defense you may need to replace the virus corrupted files with fresh ones that have been kept for such an occasion.

Finally, it is not guaranteed that if you follow the above steps that you will not be the victim of a computer virus, but you can sure bet that if followed you will greatly reduce the chance of being an unsuspecting recipient of such an unwanted program.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nigerian Internet Fraud

If you have ever received an e-mail informing you that you have just won the lottery in a foreign country or that someone needs to transfer a large sum of money into your bank account, you have most likely been contacted by an internet scam artist. Internet scams have been on the rise every year since the internet began. This type of fraud cost Americans $198 million in 2006, and this figure is 8% larger than the total of 183 million the year before. Most of these losses are attributed to the Nigerian 419 scam. The recent popularity of this type on internet fraud has created much concern by U.S. government agencies and private organizations.

The Nigerian Letter or "419" is the most prevalent internet scam. This type of scam gets its name because it originated in Nigeria, "a West African country," and it's Section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code deals with fraud. This internet scam starts out with an e-mail from an anonymous person who needs the recipient's help transferring millions of dollars from the bank account of a deceased African leader, company official, or senior government bureaucrat. The e-mail recipient will receive a sizable percentage of cash by helping him do so. These letters then ask you for your personal information, such as your bank account number and bank letterhead.

Most people, when they receive this letter, may ask themselves, "Who would fall for such a scam," However, for some individuals, this letter is perceived as a fantastic opportunity. The promise to make a large sum of money fast can drive people to make irrational decisions concerning their private information. In 2006 these types of scams had an average $5,100 loss for victims. That is a substantial jump from 2004 when the average was $2,100 per incident.

These letters are sent out to millions of e-mail addresses every year. Even though millions of e-mails are sent, just a few responses are needed for a big return. Letters to avoid

1. Having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information gathered from the Nigerian Chambers Of Commerce And Industry, I have the privilege to request your assistance to transfer the sum of $47,500,000.00 (forty seven million, five hundred thousand United States dollars) into your accounts. The above sum resulted from an over-invoiced contract, executed, commissioned and paid for about five years (5) ago by a foreign contractor. This action was however intentional and since then the fund has been in a suspense account at The Central Bank Of Nigeria Apex Bank.

We are now ready to transfer the fund overseas and that is where you come in. It is important to inform you that as civil servants, we are forbidden to operate a foreign account; that is why we require your assistance. The total sum will be shared as follows: 70% for us, 25% for you and 5% for local and international expenses incidental to the transfer.

The transfer is risk free on both sides. I am an accountant with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). If you find this proposal acceptable, we shall require the following documents:

2. I have been requested by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company to contact you for assistance in resolving a matter. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company has recently concluded a large number of contracts for oil exploration in the sub-Sahara region. The contracts have immediately produced moneys equaling US$40,000,000. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company is desirous of oil exploration in other parts of the world, however, because of certain regulations of the Nigerian Government, it is unable to move these funds to another region.

You assistance is requested as a non-Nigerian citizen to assist the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, and also the Central Bank of Nigeria, in moving these funds out of Nigeria. If the funds can be transferred to your name, in your United States account, then you can forward the funds as directed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company. In exchange for your accommodating services, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company would agree to allow you to retain 10%, or US$4 million of this amount.

However, to be a legitimate transferee of these moneys according to Nigerian law, you must presently be a depositor of at least US$100,000 in a Nigerian bank which is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

If it will be possible for you to assist us, we would be most grateful. We suggest that you meet with us in person in Lagos, and that during your visit I introduce you to the representatives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, as well as with certain officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

3. We have the pleasure to make this surprising but mutually benefiting business proposal. I am a member of the newly inaugurated committee for the privatization of the refineries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, in Nigeria. The members of the committee are interested in the importation of goods into the country with funds presently floating in the Central Bank of Nigeria / Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) foreign payments account. I got your address through the office of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The federal military government of Nigeria, intends to lease the three existing petroleum refineries to private individuals and companies. This is to make the refineries more viable, resourceful and to eliminate undue wastage and fraud. This privatization is in-line with the recommendations of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a prerequisite for future financial assistance.

The refineries are heavily indebted to many companies and my committee has the mandate (task) of compiling the names of these companies and debt owed them and also recommend for payment, all contracts that have been fully executed. With our position in the committee, which comprises of my ministry, federal ministry of petroleum resources, Nigerian National Petroleum corporation (NNPC), the federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), we have successfully secured for ourselves, the sum of US $73,000,000 (seventy-three million United States Dollars). This sum was acquired by carefully inflating the amount of indebtedness by this amount (US $73,000,000). We need a reliable company to be included in the list of companies to be paid. This company will be paid for a contract executed in Kaduna Refinery in 1993.

I was therefore mandated in trust by members of the committee, to seek a foreign partner into whose account we could transfer the sum of US $73,000,000, hence I am writing you this letter. We have agreed to share the funds thus:

Since the scammers are usually located in Nigeria, prosecutions of individuals who commit these crimes are not likely to come to fruition. In 2006, the 419 letter accounted for 8% of all internet fraud. Statistics show that only 45% of victims report these crimes to anti-fraud agencies. Some of these crimes never get reported because the victims are either too embarrassed or they have been threatened with violence. The majority of victims tend to be male (61%) and are an, average 30 to 40 years old. The top three states from which most complaints come are California, Texas, and Florida.

The best ways to avoid being caught in one of these types of internet frauds are prevention and knowledge. The FBI provides information about how not to become a victim of a Nigerian internet fraud.

o If you receive a letter from Nigeria asking you to send personal or banking information, do not reply in any manner. Send the letter to the U.S. Secret Service or the FBI. o If you know someone who is participating in one of these schemes, encourage that person to contact the FBI or the U.S. Secret Service as soon as possible. o Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as Nigerian or foreign government officials asking for your help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts. o Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation. o Guard your account information carefully.

The U.S. and Nigerian authorities have been cracking down on the perpetrators of the 419 scam.

The U.S. has been pressuring Nigerian authorities to implement new procedures to find and apprehend these internet fraudsters. In 2005 Nigeria created the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It is designed as a way to target not just the scammer, but the ring around the scammer. This includes banks, owners of cyber cafés, even café-building landlords. However, this problem has proven to be more widespread then just internet cafes. In Nigeria, there is a huge problem with corruption in the government, and some feel that internet scams are in the nation's best interest because they provid money for the economy. But this is not the only concern expressed by U.S. officials. As the Nigerian government begins to crack down, these internet scammers are moving into neighboring countries like Benin, where there is little to no government control. Also, even if the 419 becomes less profitable, scammers are conjuring up new types of internet fraud like online actions.

In conclusion, these types of fraudulent activates can be prevented by being aware and being skeptical of any e-mail makes and offer that is too good to be true because it probably is. Nigerian e-mail scams will be a problem for many years to come, but new programs preventing these types of e-mails from getting to your account are being used by most e-mail providers. Case Citations

(2006). Common Fraud Schemes. Retrieved November 5, 2007, from Federal Bureau of Investigation Web site:

(2004). Nigerian Advance Fee 419 Fraud advanced fee internet e-mail web scams from South Africa & West African / Ivory Coast / Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation frauds.. Retrieved November 5, 2007, from Web site:

Eric, Rosenberg (March 31, 2007). U.S. Internet fraud at all-time high. Retrieved November 5, 2007, from Web site:

(2006). The Internet Crime . Retrieved November 5, 2007, from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National WhiteCollar Crime Center (NW3C) Web site:

If you think you've become a victim of identity theft or fraud, act immediately to minimize the damage to your personal funds and financial accounts, as well as your reputation. Here's a list -- based in part on a checklist prepared by the California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG) and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse -- of some actions that you should take right away:

1. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the situation, whether --

2. Online,

3. By telephone toll-free at 1-877-ID THEFT (877-438-4338) or TDD at 202-326-2502, or

4. By mail to Consumer Response Center, FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

Under the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act , the Federal Trade Commission is responsible for receiving and processing complaints from people who believe they may be victims of identity theft, providing informational materials to those people, and referring those complaints to appropriate entities, including the major credit reporting agencies and law enforcement agencies. For further information, please check the FTC's identity theft Web pages . You can also call your local office of the FBI or the U.S. Secret Service to report crimes relating to identity theft and fraud.


John P. Fadoul

A South Florida native

In December 2007 graduate from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting

He has a passion for accounting and has the knowledge to apply analytical procedures to complex problems. He love to help and always makes time for is anybody that needs a helping hand.

Currently he sitting for the CPA exam in Vermont board

If you with to contact John Fadoul

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7 Ways to Protect Yourself Online

Based on information provided on the Internet World Stats website, there are about 1.3 billion internet users worldwide. Some of these users are friendly people who want to enjoy entertaining themselves, communicating with friends and family, or researching and shopping. There are others who may be conducting business online and there are stil others who are there to harm your computer.

The Internet can be a great place to do a lot of great things, but special care should be taken to make sure conditions are as safe as possible.

Here they are:

1) Scan for viruses - It doesn't matter as much about what program you are using as it does how often you use it. Having the best virus software and never using it is about as bad as having no software at all. Computers can become infected in a number of different ways, so it makes sense to scan and scan often.

2) Scan for spyware - It's really not a great thing when someone can watch what you're doing from your home or business computer. Whether they are watching directly or indirecting, using software, caution should be taken to make sure spyware is removed.

3) Avoid internet scams - If it sounds too good to be true or if you're getting something for nothing, avoid it at all costs. There are probably scams being created every day that focus on people's emotions in order to persuade them to take some type of unwise action. If you fall for a scam, it can costs hundreds or thousands of dollars and can be hard to dispute if you try to prove that the actions were fraudulent.

4) Avoid hoaxes - Hoaxes play on people's emotions especially to forward emails that contain myths or folklore. Since the emails may sound like something that has actually occurred, people forward them and the process continues.

5) Report and Recognize Phishing - Phishing involves someone trying to obtain your personal information such as bank account information through cleverly designed emails and webpages. The best thing to do is to report these types of incidents to the necessary authorities. The key component is actually recognizing the phishing attempts. If you receive an email that asks for personal information or has a link to login to an account, avoid it 99% of the time. Most organizations will not ask for social security numbers, account numbers, or passwords from email.

6) Avoid pornography - The best solution for avoiding most pornography that exists on the web is to install a filter. One of the filters that I recommend can be found will take care of most of the process. Inappropriate sites will be blocked and parents can take an active approach at controlling the internet use in their home.

7) Use caution when blogging - Blogging can be a great thing most of the time. It is great for search engine optimization and building communities online, but caution should be used when including information that is personal or when discussing details of other people's lives. In addition, to keep people from stalking you, I would not suggest chronicling every detail of your every day life.

Devin Dabney is a computer consultant, author, speaker, and entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of DabneyWorks Computer Consulting. DabneyWorks provides remote and in-person computer assistance , website design and auditing, and business consultation.

Friday, April 11, 2008

How Hackers Can Get To Your E-Gold Account

Imagine having the terrible experience of checking your e-gold account only to find that the money that was supposed to be there has been withdrawn and your balance is down to zero.

The only explanation for this is that somebody has hacked into your account and has withdrawn the money with the help of spyware software installed without your knowledge on your computer over the Internet.

And it gets even scarier. Actually this can happen to you even if your computer has the latest anti-virus and firewall software protection. Too many times, people with this kind of protection assume that all is well only to get the shock of their lives when their online e-gold accounts are cleaned out. Always remember that anti-virus software and even firewall is NOT enough to keep out hackers because it does not address their favorite tool of trade, namely spyware.

Spyware is a software that gets into your computer through the Internet and literally spies on your every activity. Forms of spyware vary and range from virtually harmless cookies that track you across the various websites you visit to the deadly keystroke loggers that record your passwords to various accounts including other extremely sensitive data. The information is then transmitted back to a special destination that the hacker has full access to. The rest is then very easy to do and within no time the victim finds that their e-gold account has been cleaned out.

The reason why e-gold is an especially popular target with hackers specializing in the withdrawal and transfer of funds is because many people do not access their e-gold accounts daily. The vast majority of account holders have very few transactions using e-gold, probably even one or two in a month.

There are four ways that spyware can get into your computer. It can ride with software that you have downloaded from the World Wide Web to install in your computer.

Secondly hackers can find an open port in your computer where they can virtually install anything over the net.

Thirdly spyware can arrive as part of an email attachment which automatically installs itself onto your computer the minute you open the email message in question.

Finally it can be installed physically by somebody with access to your computer.

To protect your e-gold account, you will need to get good anti-spyware software and then ensure that you update it regularly.

Another thing to do when in doubt is to never leave substantial e-gold funds hanging around in your account for long periods of time. Transfer them to a more secure account the minute you receive payment.

Understandably the whole idea with e-gold accounts is to keep your assets and accumulate them in an e-gold account to protect yourself from currency fluctuations. Good strong protection against spyware is therefore the most practical protection for e-gold account holders.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Be Aware Of Phishing Scams

If you surf the web, purchase products over the web or use the many financial services offered by your credit card company, bank and even Paypal and Ebay, then you should be aware of Phishing scams and how they can affect you personally.
Phishing scams are when hackers or criminals masquerade as a legitimate entities in order to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc to commit fraud. Phishing scams are numerous on the web and can affect almost anyone. Here are some tips to easily spot phishing scams and what to do if you think your information has been compromised.
How to Spot Phishing Scams
A vast majority of phishing scams come in the form of email. Emails are sent to possibly millions of people stating that they are from a legitimate entity such as American Express, Chase Bank, Ebay, Paypal, etc. The email itself looks very convincing (in fact, it is usually an exact copy of official emails sent). Within the email it will usually state that your account information is not up to date and not updating this information could jeopardize your account. It will usually give you a hyperlink to click on to update your account information which will usually ask you for your full name, address, social security number and account number. Once you have given all your sensitive information to this web site, the hacker or criminal organization can now use this info to make purchase online using your credit card information, open up loans using your info and literally steal money from your bank account.
Three ways to spot phishing scams are to make sure that the email is addressed directly to you. Inside the email itself, it should state your full name. If it says "Dear member" or "Dear customer" it most likely is a phishing scam. Secondly, the email that you receive the message from should be the one that you have given to the company. If you have five email address and use only one email address for all your finance related business, any emails you receive on your other email addresses are likely phishing scams. Thirdly, the vast majority of financial companies will never ask you for your account information or other sensitive info through an email. Email is not privacy protected and legitimate companies will not harm their customers in such a way.
An Easy Way to Thwart All Phishing Scams
Whether you think an email is legitimate or not, never click on any hyperlink within the email, instead, simply open up a new browser window, type in the financial company's address and log into your account. If your account requires any kind of update, it will state it. Usually, most companies will send you a letter in the mail or call you directly if there is some kind of issue. But even over the phone, make sure you are talking with a representative of the company before giving out information. They should have the information themselves and not be asking you for it.
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