Tag Archives: online security

How To Avoid Online Scams – PC Tools Lays Out A Plan

From this morning’s Tech Thoughts Daily Net News column – “Some of these campaigns consist of emails that are so effectively crafted that they could fool even some of the more advance users, while others look so obviously fake that they are spotted by all but the most inexperienced ones.”

Does this sound like “new” news to you? If, you’re a long time reader here – I suspect, not. Still, at the risk of sounding like a broken record – I’m reposting one of the most read posts from 2012, that can help users (especially less aware users), avoid being scammed online.

Yes, it’s repetitive – Yes, it’s repetitive – Yes, it’s repetitive! But that’s the point. In order to achieve a change in behavior (and, average users must change their online behavior) – repetition of the correct behavior, is fundamental to achieving that goal.

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imageCyber crooks and scam emails – a natural fit – aimed at the significant number of Internet users who remain unaware of the very real dangers that scam emails  hold for their safety, security, identity – and, their wallet.

Cyber criminals are experts at crafting “attention grabbers” designed to reel in the unwary and undereducated Internet surfer. Here’s a few attention grabbers that consistently pay off – targeted towards the blissfully unaware Internet user. Especially those users who seem to have a natural tendency to “just click”.

Online shopping offers e.g. bargains from unknown stores.

Get rich quick schemes/work from home offers.

Offers to download mobile protection software.

Offers to download antivirus software.

Offers to win a prize e.g. answer this survey ‘for your chance to win’…

Movie offers e.g. search for a popular movie such as Twilight and an offer comes up to download the movie for free.

Online donations.

Occasionally, I’ll post an article directed at the “just click” crowd and, I can say without any hesitation – users who fall into this category of Internet user are ripe for the taking – it’s like picking apples from a tree. It couldn’t be easier.

Here’s a couple of past articles which continue to draw huge numbers of the “just click” crowd.

Kate Middleton Nude – As If!

Nude Pics Of Your Wife/Girlfriend Attached – Click Here

Frankly, I fail to understand how anyone with a lick of common sense, would be drawn in by those nonsense article titles. On the other hand, maybe common sense has nothing to do with it.

It could just as easily be that innate sense of overconfidence that seems to have infected society as a whole – most particularly the “tech savvy” generation.

Mark Twain had it right, I think, when he said – “It aint what we don’t know that hurts us. It’s what we do know that ain’t so – that does.” The “tech savvy” generation in a nutshell – maybe.

My friends over a PC Tools, recognizing the continuing need to educate users, have put together a Top Tips article – How to Outsmart Online Scammers – designed to help the unwary (overconfident) Internet user, to identify online scams.

Richard Clooke, PC Tools online security expert reveals in this article – how to avoid being scammed online:

1. ASK – is this too good to be true?

$50 here, a holiday there, unlimited online offers from the world’s biggest brands – if you’re tempted by any of these free offers, then the answer is probably yes.

Many online scams trick us into revealing our personal information to secure something in return. It’s important to be aware of ‘fake offers’ to avoid being lured by savvy scammers.

2. DON’T – dish your details unless the site is secure.

Never provide personal or financial information in exchange for online offers.  Details such as your mobile number, address, and credit card or banking details should never be entered on a non-secure site. When in doubt:

  • Double check the URL before typing a link into your browser.
  • Check there is a padlock icon in your browser before using your credit card online.
  • Check you’re on a secure site and that the address starts with ‘HTTPS’.

3. THINK – it can happen to me.

Many of us think we are savvy online, but the reality is cybercriminals are cashing in on relaxed attitudes to sharing personal details online. Results from the PC Tools study also showed that most people think scams are more likely to happen to others, rather than themselves.

We need to educate ourselves about online scams and be aware of the risk.

4. DO – invest in scam protection software.

What most of us don’t realize is some online scams don’t involve malware and while traditional Internet security is still essential, we now require additional protection to prevent cybercriminals gaining personal information via other methods.

Regular readers here are familiar with this old request – still, it’s as pertinent as ever.

Be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, particularly those who are inexperienced Internet users – let them know that there is an epidemic of this types of scam on the Internet. In doing so, you help raise the level of protection for all of us.

6 Comments

Filed under Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, Internet Safety, PC Tools

PC Tools Top Tips – How To Avoid Online Scams

imageCyber crooks and scam emails – a natural fit – aimed at the significant number of Internet users who remain unaware of the very real dangers that scam emails  hold for their safety, security, identity – and, their wallet.

Cyber criminals are experts at crafting “attention grabbers” designed to reel in the unwary and undereducated Internet surfer. Here’s a few attention grabbers that consistently pay off – targeted towards the blissfully unaware Internet user. Especially those users who seem to have a natural tendency to “just click”.

Online shopping offers e.g. bargains from unknown stores.

Get rich quick schemes/work from home offers.

Offers to download mobile protection software.

Offers to download antivirus software.

Offers to win a prize e.g. answer this survey ‘for your chance to win’…

Movie offers e.g. search for a popular movie such as Twilight and an offer comes up to download the movie for free.

Online donations.

Occasionally, I’ll post an article directed at the “just click” crowd and, I can say without any hesitation – users who fall into this category of Internet user are ripe for the taking – it’s like picking apples from a tree. It couldn’t be easier.

Here’s a couple of past articles which continue to draw huge numbers of the “just click” crowd.

Kate Middleton Nude – As If! 

Nude Pics Of Your Wife/Girlfriend Attached – Click Here

Frankly, I fail to understand how anyone with a lick of common sense, would be drawn in by those nonsense article titles. On the other hand, maybe common sense has nothing to do with it.

It could just as easily be that innate sense of overconfidence that seems to have infected society as a whole – most particularly the “tech savvy” generation. Mark Twain had it right, I think, when he said – “It aint what we don’t know that hurts us. It’s what we do know that ain’t so – that does.” The “tech savvy” generation in a nutshell – maybe.

My friends over a PC Tools, recognizing the continuing need to educate users, have put together a Top Tips article – How to Outsmart Online Scammers – designed to help the unwary (overconfident) Internet user, to identify online scams.

Richard Clooke, PC Tools online security expert reveals in this article – how to avoid being scammed online:

1. ASK – is this too good to be true?

$50 here, a holiday there, unlimited online offers from the world’s biggest brands – if you’re tempted by any of these free offers, then the answer is probably yes.

Many online scams trick us into revealing our personal information to secure something in return. It’s important to be aware of ‘fake offers’ to avoid being lured by savvy scammers. 

2. DON’T – dish your details unless the site is secure.

Never provide personal or financial information in exchange for online offers.  Details such as your mobile number, address, and credit card or banking details should never be entered on a non-secure site. When in doubt:

  • Double check the URL before typing a link into your browser.
  • Check there is a padlock icon in your browser before using your credit card online.
  • Check you’re on a secure site and that the address starts with ‘HTTPS’.

3. THINK – it can happen to me.

Many of us think we are savvy online, but the reality is cybercriminals are cashing in on relaxed attitudes to sharing personal details online. Results from the PC Tools study also showed that most people think scams are more likely to happen to others, rather than themselves.

We need to educate ourselves about online scams and be aware of the risk.

4. DO – invest in scam protection software.

What most of us don’t realize is some online scams don’t involve malware and while traditional Internet security is still essential, we now require additional protection to prevent cybercriminals gaining personal information via other methods.

About PC Tools

PC Tools is dedicated to building simple, effective and affordable PC protection and performance tools.  For over thirteen years, we have offered industry-leading and award-winning products to tackle the world’s evolving threats and security challenges.

The PC Tools Malware Research Centre monitors trends and emerging spyware issues and provides security solutions for the consumer and enterprise marketplace. The company has staff in Mountain View, Sydney, London and Kiev. PC Tools has a global network of distributors, resellers, and retailers.

6 Comments

Filed under Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, PC Tools

7 Excellent Online Security Blogs Worth Subscribing To

Guest writer Mary Ward, takes you on a tour of 7 security Blogs that can help you stay safe on the Internet.

    image The issue of privacy, more specifically as it relates to online security, is a hot topic these days. As people use the Internet for more and more of their everyday functions, they want to understand what online security means and how it relates to them.

    While people fear for the safety of their own information, they can look to some very knowledgeable resources in the blogosphere for help.  You can learn most everything within the world of online security by visiting these top blogs.

    7 Online Security Blogs You Should Know:

    1. 1 Raindrop – Written by a software architect, there is a unique and extremely relevant point of view presented on the topic of online security. This blog is written by an individual who understands the topic firsthand and therefore can bring insight on current trends as he is considered to be an expert in the field. Not only does he keep up with informative blog posts but talks about his speaking engagements and the reaction they get from the general public.
    2. Freedom to Tinker –   The nice part about this blog is that it offers many different featured authors as part of the following and for whom the actual blog posts come from. Not only does this mean unique points of view, but it also allows for individuals to contribute and keep followers informed on various areas of online security. This is well worth following to keep up with current trends and to see what the latest news is with online security because that is at the core of every contributing author on here.
    3. Exhaustive Research – A very intriguing blog that not only dives into the concept of online security but also how it relates to human behavior and the world in general. If the blog posts weren’t to capture your attention, the comments by those who regularly follow this blog can often keep you on the edge of your seat.
    4. Another Set of Teeth – You can tell that this comes from an IT professional who has a distinct point of view and that’s what keeps people coming back. He represents his views thoughtfully but without apology as he tackles the issues of hacking and online security for the general public. It’s a refreshing point of view as it’s not only informative but very honest too.
    5. Security Buddha – Though online security is at the center of this blog, there are so many other security issues that this blogger delves into. You can learn about everything from hacking to keeping your information safe—even learn about airport security. He takes his security issues very seriously and therefore brings a much respected point of view.
    6. Avi Rubin’s Blog – Sure it’s just one blogger writing about his unique point of view, but it’s rather intriguing. He spells out up front his desire to dive into the specific areas of security evaluators and network security, amidst many other topics that are pertinent. This is one individual who not only knows about the world of online security, but also about how to write in an interesting and relevant manner.
    7. Meta Security – There are a variety of different topics and authors that make this an excellent blog to follow. Though online security is just one of the many topics, including money laundering and fraud, you can learn a little bit about a whole lot of topics within the security world.

    More and more we find that the issue of online security is one that needs addressing.  Follow along with these top security bloggers and get the information you need to surf and work the web confidently and securely.

    This is a guest post by Mary Ward who writes about various safety, security, and legal career topics, including how to obtain a court reporting degree. Checkout what Mary has to say on top court reporting degree programs.

    If you enjoyed this article, 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.

    2 Comments

    Filed under Don't Get Hacked, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Online Safety, Recommended Web Sites, Safe Surfing, Windows Tips and Tools