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

Buying Quality Admirers

From the Don’t Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry Department: did you know there’s a whole “blackhat SEO” world of buying fraudulent “Like’s” and “Friends” and “Followers”?

Well, I have some advice for those of you who want to increase your number of friends: make sure you buy quality fakes. Don’t scrimp.

quality_admirers

Need a spy pen? Here’s one for only $15.

*     *     *

Sometimes I think Armageddon can’t get here fast enough…

Today’s quotable quote:The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” ~ Albert Einstein

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.

October 21, 2013 Posted by | advice, gadgets, Internet, social networking, tech | , | 2 Comments

Planet Earth Is Blue…

Folks, I am going to ask you to indulge me in one more video (I guess I am “on a roll”), but yes, there’s some tech, too (just scroll down). Today’s music video was sent in by a reader, who thought I might enjoy it. I did!

I have heard that song, oh, maybe.. 24,336 times in my life. But never quite like that!

Today’s Tech

* Build a complete Windows 7 safety net (by one of my fave tech How To writers, Fred Langa) Note: this is IMHO the definitive How To tutorial for disaster recovery — please read it!

Every copy of Windows 7 includes a complete suite of backup tools. The suite contains everything you need to back up (and restore) your entire system.
What’s more, after you’ve set up your initial backup, future backups happen automatically.
In fact, Windows 7 makes it so easy to set up fully automated backups, it’s almost nutty not to do it.Read more.. (please)

(‘Cuz it is nutty not to do it.)

Cyberstalking Victim Wants LinkedIn to Do More to Protect Users.

After being sexually assaulted at work, Anna Rihtar quit the job she loved to avoid her attacker. And, like many unemployed people, she turned to LinkedIn to find work. But Rihtar’s attacker followed her online. In addition to phoning, emailing, and pursuing Rihtar on Facebook and Twitter, he began cyberstalking her on LinkedIn, leaving messages that were alternately flirtatious and hate-filled…” Read more..

rocks_thumb.jpg… 24 signatures on her petition..? What the ____ is wrong with people?!?!

Sigh. Oh, well. Have a great day everybody! (And thank you, Dear Reader.)

Today’s question: If April showers bring May flowers.. what do May showers bring?

Today’s quote:If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.” ~ John A. Simone, Sr.

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.

May 16, 2013 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, digital music, digital Video, how to, Internet, News, privacy, social networking, tech, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Quick Tips and news items – a hodgepodge!

Folks, only time today for a few “items of interest”.

* Cisco To Partners: Use Social Media — You Can Bet Your Competitors Are

Social media sites are no longer just ways to kill time online — they are marketing powerhouses that must be embraced by partners if they hope to stay competitive, Cisco said this week.” Read more..

[ Just one teensy-weensy, little, miniscule problem: doesn’t actually produce sales.. Does it? But it’s proven they sure do waste time..! ]

Quick Tip: Make Windows 8 File Explorer launch in Computer view

With the right code you can change the default settings of Windows 8 File Explorer.” Read more..

Screenshots: Five alternatives to QuickBooks

Jack Wallen suggests several options that offer a near feature-for-feature comparison to the popular QuickBooks.View on site..

Bing Delivers Five Times as Many Malicious Websites as Google

Searches on Bing returned five times more links to malicious websites than Google searches, according to an 18-month study from German independent testing lab AV-Test. Though search engines have worked to suppress malicious results, the study concluded that malware infested websites still appear in their top results.” Read more..

Come on.. tell me you knew that hackers plant poison websites on the web, and trick Google/Bing/Yahoo into Ranking them in the Top 10.. Please tell me you knew.

200+ useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Word 2010. – ShortcutWorld

225 time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts for Word 2010. Extensive up-to-date reference lists of Keyboard Shortcuts/Hotkeys for Windows, Mac, and …Learn more..

* I learn something new everyday when I surf the web. For example, I didn’t know there was such a thing as “reptile carpet”.. or that anyone offered a cleaning service..

carpet_cleaning

A valuable skill..

WordPress, Joomla Sites Under Brute-Force Password Attack

Thousands of WordPress and Joomla sites are currently under attack by a large botnet brute-forcing passwords. Administrators need to make sure they have strong passwords and unique usernames for their WordPress and Joomla installations.Read more..

[ “Joomla”?? Who makes up these words! ]

And the hits, they just keep on playing…

Spammers Piggyback on Boston Attack

Cybercriminals don’t hesitate when they see an opportunity to spread malware. Not even when it means exploiting as horrific an event as the Boston Marathon bombing.” Read more..

Today’s quote: “There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.” ~ Mark Twain

[ Can you believe? I had forgotten that.. so long ago. ]

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.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, hackers, how to, Internet, News, social networking, software | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

People are waking up!

Somebody told me some good news.

And because I don’t trust anything I hear, I looked it up (I believe half what I read). Guess what? It’s true! Someone must have have put Get Smarter pills in the drinking water because Facebook numbers are – tighten your sealtbelt – declining. Yay!

Have people finally figured out that data mining, and the selling of their most personal information is actually an un-cool thing?!  That there’s advantages to Privacy?!

* Data privacy trends: Mining and socializing

2012 was a wild ride for cyber security and data privacy with no signs of reprieve as we slide into the New Year. So, how well did we do on our predictions from last year? At the end of 2011 I predicted there would be increased scrutiny of the third party data mining industry, and that has happened. A significant percentage of consumers continue to be concerned that data about them is being accessed and used for commercial purposes without their permission, with the potential for a variety of unhappy consequences.Read more..

[very interesting read.]

Well.. not really. That seems to only be a concern for a small group of the IT savvy. But it does seem to be true: numbers are declining..

* Facebook numbers in decline in the UK and US

Facebook numbers are falling in the UK and US, new research reveals.Read more..

[related: Facebook criticised over silent launch of facial recognition tool]

and..
* Facebook Users Decline Along With Share Price: Competition from Samsung?

and for a look at the WHY of it.. Why Facebook Is Losing U.S. Users.

Has Facebook’s time finally come? Have they finally “gone too far”?

Or do the paid journalists grab at any straw, just to have some copy to submit?

I don’t know. But I don’t think anyone’s putting Get Smarter pills in the drinking water …

Today’s quote:The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” ~ Elie Wiesel

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.

March 22, 2013 Posted by | Internet, News, social networking | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A True Believer

Saw something today – while running around like a chicken with my head cut off (a hectic day) – that I thought I would share – (kinda cool that my pocket phone has a camera)

facebook_me

A true believer …

I figger they’re just really eager to make new friends….

* Sumptin’ else I saw..

comment_spam3
Thanks, friend. Comments on this blog are what I live for. (And note the URL, Dear Reader. slash/kkkdi99343l ought to be a red flag…).

But.. who’s “Nando”?

Today’s quote:Of course there is no formula for success, except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life, and what it brings” ~ Arthur Rubinstein

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.

March 6, 2013 Posted by | social networking, tech | 1 Comment

A Job I Could Get Into? (And Twitter in the news — again.)

Once again, a “reader comment” makes me think I may be in the wrong line of work..

spam_comment17

Do I have to say it? Interesting as it may sound, a site you don’t want to visit.

Wonder how much that pays?

(I hope you’ll forgive the lack of a real article today. I’m still suffering from Super Bowl Heartbreak.)

Headline News: Twitter succumbs to “extremely sophisticated” attack

Twitter, with more than 500 million registered users globally, may soon be adding additional login protections. The company disclosed Friday Read more..

February 5, 2013 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, Internet scam, News, privacy, security, social networking, tech | , | 2 Comments