Tag Archives | Spam

10 Small Steps for Better Online Security

Padlock by stebulus on Flickr

We all spend an inordinate time online. We use social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and many, many others), we search for information, read news, buy books and software, and perform banking transactions – and this is only a fraction of what’s done everyday by millions upon millions of users. The Internet makes the world akin to a village.

Unfortunately, the online world is also the domain of computer viruses, identity theft, stolen passwords, email spam and hacked webmail accounts. It is therefore of extreme importance to be vigilant and protect our computers, data, mail accounts and credit cards adequately. The following are simple steps that you can do today, even if you are not a tech; while they are not the end-all be-all, these steps can improve your security and privacy dramatically if you make a small effort to go through them and apply them all. Continue Reading →

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Lies, Fat Lies and Email Hoaxes

Email? by Tama Leaver on Flickr

One of my pet peeves online is the endless stream of forwarded emails, where the forwarder has not taken the time to verify the authenticity of the allegations contained in the body of the email in question. It is banal to say that, much like any medium that enables the flow of information, the Internet is prone to abuse and misuse. And yet, people still receive these emails and forward them blindly like they did in 1998. Do you believe everything written in newspapers and magazines? How about pausing for a minute and thinking about that person who is asking you to ‘forward this to as many people as you can before it’s too late!’

To this day, you will find in your inbox – especially on Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail – a letter typed in colored fonts (who writes in colored fonts?) warning you of a new virus that is spreading like wildfire on the Internet. The originator is imploring you not to open any email called <insert celebrity name here> because it will steal your passwords, destroy your hard drive and kill your cat (okay, I made that last one up). And to add some authority to that claim, the original sender is pretending that the virus was discussed yesterday on CNN (seriously? CNN has time for these things? Wow!), and a warning was issued by Microsoft itself (never mind the fact that Microsoft is not an anti-virus company)! Aren’t you afraid now? An individual dreams up this story, and before you know it, five persons who have forwarded this email become five thousand. Continue Reading →

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