Friday, November 16, 2007

How to save yourself from phishing scam and other online crookedness

One day a businessman Mr. Hari Sir(who doesn't have much grip on computers) who used computer for accessing his online bank details,checking important mails and market survey, found his password is not letting him inside his accounts. Out of frustrations, he tried everything possibly he could imagine and do but to no avail. Could you imagine situation like this?? When our personal informations, login details are no more secured and could be easily compromised.

Around a week ago, all of a sudden, my brother's email address stopped responding to his regular password which he usually checks in with. The computer he had used was the secured one,because i personally set up all the firewalls and latest updates on antivirus software which turned out to be of useless crap. How were his passwords stolen?

Recently, Alicia Keys Myspace account had been an issue here. Whoever visited her profile on Myspace and clicked somewhere on the page, were taken to forged infected site which asked to download some sort of video codec. what else, people downloaded thinking it was some sort of video codec but in return they were installing virus onto their computer. Whoever downloaded that codec, their informations were stolen. They were left ripped off. How do they(stealer) do it??

Well, if you are witty enough, no one can fool you. Hackers are always using innovative techniques to intrude into peoples personal stuffs. Their new techniques are way beyond the scope of latest antivirus(or any other anti-malware) to snatch it.

Some of the techniques, they've used and i've noticed are: -

1. They send you authenticate looking emails of your accounts requesting you to change something on your account.
- If you've an account in Well's Fargo bank(www.wellsfargo.com), you may get some emails requesting you to change some details. You may get FROM: support@wellsfargo.com . It surely does looks genuine and you may be easily deceived. Clicking any links on that email will take you to unexpected hassles,worries and sorrows. Because, Banks would rarely ask you for anything in email.
SO, DON'T DON'T CLICK ANY OF THOSE LINKS. To confirm, call your bank and ask if they sent any of such emails.

2. Today, we live in two worlds. Real and online world. Usually, online or virtual world is also termed as Second life. With the advent of this reality, we are forced to involved into some sort of online social network. Started with the purpose of scheduling meeting and conference among big corporate businessess, it has gone wide and now, today, even a 12 years are actively involved into social networking sites like myspace,facebook,hi5,etc.
One thing, these social networking sites are at high risk of exploits because, they keep sending notification emails of this and that. If someone adds you, you get a notification email and so. They really have to change this. Instead of sending links on their notification emails, they just do it only for notifying. Hi5,myspace,facebook etc still send you notification mails with links on it. Do you believe, all of these network sites are equally compromised too. If you ever get notification mails from these sites, just check what's in it. Then go to address bar, login to your site by typing full address and check for new inbox mails or friends added/requests etc. NEVER EVER CLICK ANY OF THE LINKS ON NOTIFICATION MAILS PRETENDED TO BE SENT BY SUCH SITES. We will never know if it's genuine one or fake one. So, being smart sometimes pays off.

3. You've downloaded almost all multimedia plugins for feature-rich multimedia experience on your browser. Then why the heck, some sites sometimes ask you to install some strange looking video codecs? Simple, to infect your system. You know you've all the codecs needed to play video or listen to online music. And, you are able to play almost all video files online, listen to all streaming songs. And, if you are still asked to install some plugins(codec)?? then DON'T EVER CLICK 'ACCEPT' or 'OK' button? DON'T EVER DO THAT. BE SAFE and just get away from such sites. ACTIVEX were coded to make good use of online experience but some bad guys have started coding browser applications(ACTIVEX) for deceitful purposes.

Now, what could be the reasons for 3 cases in the very first paragraphs of this post.?

Well, Mr Hari Sir clicked links on the email thinking it was sent by his bank.
My brother clicked on links sent by social networking site which weren't genuine. I checked that personally and that was my conclusion.
And for Alicia key's case,people downloaded codecs and there login details were stolen. Some local bands's details were also stolen as soon as they downloaded those malware codecs.

And, I normally see some people putting same passwords for all his logins. Never do that. Keep different passwords for your logins. If you use nick as 'Stallon' everywhere on internet, passwords should be different on wherever you go. Because, if one account got hacked, the hacker may not access your other accounts. Whereever you are involved online is just a 'search keyword' away from hackers.

One last thing, you've an email address like something@somthing.com and your password is 'password'. And some sites may want you to use your email address as your login details. NEVER EVER use your email's password as that site's login password. Always keep changing passwords for different sites if they want your email as their login name.

Well, that's all about phishing scam and other online fraudulent activities. Phishing is nothing but act of attracting internet user to reveal personal details (like passwords and credit card information) on a fake web page or email form pretending to come from a legitimate company (like their bank)

STAY SMART, STAY SAFE.

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