Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

12 Scams of Christmas (and Yahoo, too)

Folks, as we approach the Holidays, please be aware, and remind your friends and family, that we are now in the peak scam, ripoff, fraud, and – of course! – phishing season. The vermin are happily and busily creating phony online stores, and filling our Inboxes, Faceboook, and Twitter with bait and lures of all types.

Holiday shoppers can expect cybercriminals to be out in force this season,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “Shoppers should be alert to scams and other attempts to lure them to provide personal and financial information that could lead to data loss or the infection of an Internet connected device. We encourage everyone to STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and make sure they have taken security precautions, understand the consequences of actions and behavior and enjoy the benefits of holiday shopping online.

McAfee has released a list of the most popular scams on the Internet during the holiday season. You can see them here: 12 Scams of Christmas

We should/can take steps to increase our safety, security and confidence online with these simple tips:

  • Keep a Clean Machine: All the devices you use for shopping – including smartphones and tablets – should have up-to-date software including security software, operating systems and other key programs and apps.
  • When in Doubt, Throw it Out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete it.
  • Think Before you Act: Be wary of communications that offer amazing deals that sound too good to be true, implore you to act immediately – including indicating a problem with an order or payment—or ask you to view the website or an account via a provided link.
  • Protect your Personal Information: Be alert to the kinds and amount of information being collected during transactions. Information requested should only be enough to complete the transaction. Only fill out required fields on checkout forms. Check the website’s privacy policy.
  • Use Safe Payment Options: Credit cards are generally the safest option. They allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn’t delivered or isn’t what was ordered. Credit cards may limit the monetary amount you will be responsible if your account is compromised. Never send cash through the mail or use a money-wiring service.
  • Make Sure the Site is Legitimate: This includes a closed padlock on your web browser’s address bar or a URL address that begins with shttp or https. Check reviews of sites you have never used before.
  • Keep a Paper Trail: Save records of your online transactions, including the product description, price, online receipt, terms of the sale, and copies of any email exchange with the seller.

Yes, great deals can be found. I am not saying don’t shop online — but I am saying now is the time to double-up on your “paranoid common sense”. Nobody’s protecting you; there’s no “Internet police”. But there are *scumbuckets* intent (focused like a laser beam) on stealing from you. Thousands and thousands (and thousands!) of them.

This looks suspicious to me too

Um… But I don’t have an Am Ex Merchant Account…

There’s a whole stack of other depressing news, too. But I’ll spare you. I’ll just say – again – let’s be careful out there. Be well, at your earliest easement.

Update: I’m on my third day of Yahoo Mail uh, um, ‘technical difficulties’ (which they first called “routine maintenance”). I’m not alone. Yahoo forced to acknowledge Yahoo Mail problems in worst failure yet

After a public UI and technical failure with its October redesign, Yahoo Mail miraculously gets worse as it goes. And then, Yahoo acknowledges delivery failures stretching back to November 25.Read more..

Do you Yahoo? It’s a good (and valuable) read even if you don’t.

Today’s quote: “When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.” ~ ?

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

December 12, 2013 Posted by | advice, cyber crime, how to, Internet, News, security, social networking, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

December Tuesday Tidbits

Folks, here are a few items of interest for your consideration.

Click on image

* In a newsletter article titled 100 Stress Relief Tips for IT Pros, I found one of those always-on “live’ webcam feeds.. I liked it, but it made me feel twice as cold.

NSA amasses nearly 5B cell phone records daily for location-based tracking

The National Security Agency (NSA) is using a sophisticated analytics tool that deciphers sweeping amounts of cell phone location data gleaned from worldwide mobile users, new reports reveal.Read more..

Related: “Tower dump” of consumer mobile data a popular police snooping tactic

New reports have revealed the extent to which local law enforcement engage in mass collection of consumer cell phone data to aid in their investigations.Read more..

* Discovery of two million hacked credentials, ‘123456’ is again the common password

Researchers with SpiderLabs, the advanced security team with information security company Trustwave, discovered a treasure trove of nearly two million pilfered credentials from a variety of companies, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn and payroll service provider ADP.” Read more..

Sigh

* Yahoo! Mail Outage. Anyone else?

Top 3 weirdest news items of 2013

We’re all used to hearing about the typical threats and outcomes, but here are three extremely bizarre news items that stood out to us this year.See slideshow

Jingle bells, jingle bells … 

If you just have time to read one, read the ‘tower dump’ one.

Today’s quote:If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

December 10, 2013 Posted by | advice, cellular, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, e-mail, hackers, Internet, mobile, News, privacy, tech | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Little of This, and a Bit of That

For your consideration..

* How to find out if your password has been stolen

There are many public databases of breached accounts, the largest breach being that of Adobe.com, but no way to search across all of them. Until now.Read more..

* Hackers access plain text info on nearly 500K JPMorgan Chase cardholders

Banking and financial services holding company JPMorgan Chase is alerting 465,000 prepaid cash cardholders that their personal information may have been compromised by hackers.Read more..

* 3 Big Misconceptions About Bitcoin

Not long ago, most people were dismissing Bitcoin as merely a passing fad or a hobby for crypto-geeks, if they knew about it at all. Its quixotic nature was taken as a given, as was its ultimate fate: failure to change the status quo, followed by irrelevance. It wasn’t until Bitcoin’s exchange value topped $200 in April 2013 that most mainstream media outlets first took notice.Read more..

And how about a pretty picture? (aka Sunday Beauty #143)

zion canyon

Click on image to see more by this artist

Today’s quote:Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” ~ Earl Nightingale

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

December 8, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, digital music, hackers, Internet, News, security, tech | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Email password trouble

A reader wrote in with a question, and since I cannot reply via email, will do so here ..

emailQ:I am having trouble with passwords and email. My email address in now jammed. I do not want to keep important information on line but many things do go there. How can people and companies be convinced to respect what is done on line and give warnings before closing email, give warnings before redesigning pages, and keep important information consistant? The internet is supposed to be easy, a convenience.

A: Dear Reader,
Though I can’t be certain, it sounds to me like your email has either been hijacked by a cyber-criminal (aka “hacker”) or your email provider has had large-scale hacking attacks, and reset people’s passwords as a preventative measure (such as has been happening at Yahoo! and AOL). I recommend contacting your email’s tech support. (In webmail, that’s usually done by clicking the “forgot my password” link.)

As for “getting people to respect”… well, there are evil and/or greedy types, as well as idiots, out there in the ‘world-wide’… and who said the Internet is supposed to be easy or convenient? What it is  supposed to do is make (some) people money, spy on us, and show advertisements. To do that, it has to be easy so the average human can use it (aka ‘reach a larger audience’) and offer conveniences (and entertainments) so they will. But I agree with you. It would be very nice if those ‘webmasters’ out there would really, really, really think twice before “upgrading” their UI’s (aka “formats”).

Today’s quote:I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

December 3, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, e-mail, hackers, Internet | 2 Comments

SB 142

I hope you have all had a marvelous holiday weekend. Here’s another interesting image for your Sunday.

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Click on image to see more by this artist

“back home!” by grenade, courtesy of Flickr Commons

Today’s quote:I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

“There are only four questions in life of any value, Don Octavio. What is sacred. Of what is the spirit made. What is worth living for. And what is worth dying for. And the answer for each is the same. Only love.” from the film Don Juan DeMarco

December 1, 2013 Posted by | Digital Images | Leave a comment