Tech – for Everyone

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

“Hello, Microsoft calling. You have infected files on your machine.”

Savvy folks know about the “Microsoft” scam phone calls. The scam has been around for years and years now. But recent conversations – and today’s Windows Secrets newsletter – tell me that this fraud scam is still alive and well, and snaring “average computer users”.

Please read – and forward to your less-savvy friends and neighbors..!! There’s no reason this scam should still be working, except ignorance. Which we can cure! Don’t let this rip-off victimize one more soul.
(And this is a good read even if you are aware of this scam. Learn how the con artist works their trade.)

See Security alert: Bogus tech-support phone calls
By Fred Langa. on February 27, 2013

Hello. This is Microsoft Tech Support. Your PC has notified us that it has an infection.”

The call is a scam — an extremely prevalent one. Here’s how it works and what you need to know to stay out of the trap.Read more..

Note: If you receive (or have already received) a scam-related phone call, the FTC requests you dial (toll-free) 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit the Complaint Assistant site.

If you’re on the receiving end of an attempted scam via the Web (rather than by phone), file a complaint on the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s free website.

(I have a cure for this disease.. but I can’t print it.)

Today’s quote:Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” ~ Henry Ford

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.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, hackers, how to, Internet, Microsoft, News, security, tech | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Woman Bilked Of $400K By Nigerian Internet Scam

Folks, as an IT Support Professional, I am keenly aware of the current state of  computer security, and the “shadow economy” of cyber-crime. I am a student of IT Sec (as it’s known), and I try to keep my readers abreast of the latest threats and trends.. and scams.

For a while now, I have looked forward to receiving Bruce Schneier’s monthly newsletter (named “CRYPTO-GRAM”). You can find Mr. Schneier’s website on my Blogroll. He is one of the leaders in the field.
To get the full benefit of his keen wit, one should (IMHO) follow the links he provides. One such link led me to this video..
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “CNN – Woman loses $400,000 to an e-ma…“, posted with vodpod

I am not exactly sure of the original date of this story, but the blogs are atwitter with it now.

This is the oldest scam on the Internet (well.. one of the oldest anyways) and, frankly, I’m kind of flabberghasted by this woman. There is a wealth of information about these scams on the Internet.. I wonder, if she read Tech-for Everyone, would she have been so ___________ ?

I also wonder why she went public.
I do give ‘props’ to the news crew, though– they almost completely kept their chuckles out of the story.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

December 16, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, e-mail, hackers, how to, Internet scam, security | , , , , , | 4 Comments

How the Tech Industry is failing you, Part 2

You do the right things. You only surf to “legitimate” Websites. You never open attachments sent in e-mails without investigating them first. You’ve paid the $29.99 for a year’s worth of protection. Good for you! I salute you.

But, you get infected anyway, and now you’re being told the safest thing to do is wipe your drive and start fresh.

That really, really,.. um,.. what’s the word I’m looking for?.. stinks!
(We here at Tech–for Everyone [me, myself, and I] were sorely tempted to use a word with more tang and, vigorosity.)
And thinking about this makes me Mad As Heck (please see ).

The reason “why” is: we are being sold second-rate crud. It’s been that way for.. well, forever.
Sure, we pay top dollar for it, but it’s half-baked, untested, and has more security holes in it than Swiss cheese. (OK. Some of it is free [or, cheap], but it’s still crud.)

Software, hardware– take your pick.

Let me give you a “for instance”– if you were a big corporation and had a large budget, you could buy a UTM/WSG device to (help) protect your network (Unified Threat Management/Web Security Gateway). This device would include a firewall capable of opening each Internet data packet and scanning it for malware/porn/company secrets/encrypted data/”bad” destinations/you name it, both entering and leaving. It would include a spam/e-mail filter that interactively queries a database of “bad” IP address and URL’s (a service like, in real time. The device would also include a built-in antivirus/anti-malware engine.
The device would include all the latest and greatest security technology, and use the latest “Enterprise-grade” security techniques.

I want one of those!!!
Only… I don’t have $30,000 to spend on a box to put in front of my DSL modem.

Here’s my point– it doesn’t cost $30K to make the dang box. It costs, like.. I don’t know, $12? $20?

The reason they can charge $30K is the companies that sell them take on some legal liabilities. The box itself is a power-supply, a circuit board, some RAM, and a few chips.. peanuts.
How about this, security appliance companies, I’ll waive my rights to sue you if I lose data, and you sell me a UTM/WSG for, oh.. say..$39.99. Deal?
Stop laughing. You’ll sell millions of them.
(How many homes are connected to the WWW? )

Or how about you motherboard manufacturers? Why don’t you put a little dedicated RAM, and some EPROM’s on, and build some WSG into your board? Sell a secure mainboard.. for $40 more than a plain-Jane board. Huh? Why not? Maybe a little dedicated AV engine?

Well, I’m running out of space for today. But I’ve got more to say.
When one of you IT Brightboys get smart, and apply my idea(s) to your products, (a secure home WAP. Anyone?) you can mail my commission c/o Tech–for Everyone. (Get it?)

And please think about this, Mr. (or Ms.) “IT” CEO.. if you guys don’t get your acts together, the Internet as we know it is finished. It’s bro-ken. (monosyllables sometimes help.)

Today’s free link: (For a limited time!) My friend and fellow tech writer Bill Mullins has “scooped” me again, and is onto a great one today folks. If you’re running a Windows machine, you really should click here, and read about this download opportunity. Save you $40.

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Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 10, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, Internet, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments