Gavin Whittaker’s Guide to Internet Safety – Part One

image Today, we’re trying something a little different here on Tech Thoughts – with the help of guest writer Gavin Whittaker, we’re sending you back to school! Gavin has written  an impressive series of ten articles, all designed to  help you navigate the Internet in safety.

We’ll present each of Gavin’s highly informative articles, over the course of the next ten days.

Here’s the first installment of the guide to:

Protect Yourself from Fraud

Highlight the Common Internet Scams

Give You the Knowledge & Confidence to Avoid these Online Scams

Today we focus on Phishing:

Phishing is the process of receiving unsolicited emails (spam) that request you click a link to confirm:

Your bank details

You wish to receive a tax refund

Or to access your PayPal account

I’m sure you’ve seen other variations too….the list is growing rapidly.

This ‘phishing’ technique is common and people fall victim to it every day.  The email is formatted to look official and until you click one of the links within the email you’re safe.  Upon clicking a link you’ll be directed to a web site that again has been carefully crafted to look like the login page of the official site.

What NOT to do

TIP: Never visit a bank or payment service by clicking a link in an email

If the user follows the phishing email link and enters their security details into the erroneous site, the usual trick is to display a login error message before the user is unknowingly sent to the official site to login for a 2nd time. This leaves them none the wiser that their login details have now been stolen by a criminal.

Now that the fraudsters have the users details they can login to the official site as the user and commit fraud!

Millions of pounds from global users are stolen every year through phishing.

IMPORTANT: Banks often consider losses arising from phishing emails to be the fault of the user and therefore will not refund the lost money!

What to do

Although spam and junk filters can typically detect a phishing email the only surefire way to protect yourself is to never provide personal information in response to an unsolicited email.  If the email really does look convincing, do not click any links in the email but instead go directly to the organizations web page to login and check your account.

There are tools built into leading Internet browsers nowadays to help prevent phishing, however human logic, awareness and common sense prevail every time.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 – Social Networking – Avoiding Internet Fraud for Beginners.

Guest writer Gavin Whittaker is an IT Author,  Consultant and Trainer, and a Member of the Technology Channels Association.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.


Filed under cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, email scams, Guest Writers, Internet Safety, internet scams, Internet Security Alerts, Online Safety, Phishing, Windows Tips and Tools

10 responses to “Gavin Whittaker’s Guide to Internet Safety – Part One

  1. Murphy

    Very useful article . Thank you .
    Best regards !

  2. Liam O' Moulain

    Bill and Gavin,

    Very instructive article.

    I’m looking forward to “going back to school”.


    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Liam,

      We welcome all new students to the classroom. lol

      Thanks for dropping by.


  3. Ranjan

    We all at some point of time forget the most basic things.. I remember a quiz show which was telecasted here and contestants were asked questions falling under the syllabus of class 1-5, eventhough none managed to win the show..
    Somewhat similar case here. Nice article indeed by Gavin Whittaker. It’ll make us learn and remember the basics of internet security..

    • Bill Mullins

      I agree – in almost all areas of life, it’s the “basics” that get you by. Nice observation Ranjan.


  4. You can make your banking information *almost* bulletproof with a good anti-malware security system and a good anti-everything-logger, but your only anti-phishing protection is between your ears.

    Gavin’s “the only surefire way to protect yourself is to never provide personal information in response to an unsolicited email” says it all!

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Rod,

      Couldn’t agree more. “A good anti-everything-logger” is an absolute necessity in today’s environment. Zemana AntiLogger is the application of choice, in my view. I simply wouldn’t be without it.

      BTW, I have not forgotten those pieces that you sent me earlier. There’s an important lesson in those pieces that is on my radar to bring to my readers attention. Unfortunately, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in commitments for months now, and I’m only just beginning to see the end of it.


  5. Pingback: Internet Safety | wwwyahoo_yahoomail_video_women

  6. Pingback: Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 6, 2010 « Bill Mullins' Weblog – Tech Thoughts