Protect Yourself While Shopping Online

This is the season for online shopping. Everyone should take a few minutes to remind themselves that we all live in a dangerous online world. At our regularly scheduled training on December 6 I will talk a litte bit about online shopping and protecting yourself. In the meantime start the process of protecting yourself by reading the following article.

Shop With Well Known Establishments
Start at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine. Search results can be rigged to lead you to dangerous destinations. If you know the site, chances are it’s safe for shopping!

Shop Only On Secure Sites
Never trust purchasing anything online using your credit card from a site that does not have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You can be assured of this by looking in the URL bar for the https:// in front of the website address as well as a padlock image. If you do not see these – do not use your credit card!

Don’t Give Up Your Personal Information
Online shopping stores do not need your social security number or your birthday. If the website is asking for this information, shop somewhere else!

Check Your Statements
Don’t wait for your bill to come at the end of the month. Go online regularly during the holiday season and look at electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. Make sure you don’t see any fraudulent charges, even originating from sites like PayPal. If you see something wrong, pick up the phone and contact the vendor immediately!

Protect Your PC
Keep your computer update with a good virus and malware application! There are many good free solutions out there like (my personal favorite) Microsoft Security Essentials and AVG.

Don’t Be Lazy With Your Passwords
Strong passwords are critical when banking and shopping online.

Avoid Public Terminals When Shopping
Avoid shopping on public networks. Also keep your in home (wireless) network secure with a strong WEP and use your network to shop online.

One of the Oldest Lessons Out There
If the “deal” online sounds too good to be true it probably is. No one – and I mean no one is selling IPAD’s for $49.99! Stay away from these offers for you own good!

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Facebook Scam Alert

A new Facebook scam is making the rounds. If you are on Facebook be aware of this and as always avoid responding to unsolicted email messages.

Today an unsolicited email began appearing that stated it was from Facebook. The email comes with the subject line “Your account has been disabled by an administrator”.

Hovering over the links in the email shows that we will visit paflape.smyslzivota.cz instead of Facebook. It’s worth mentioning that the spammers forgot a dot (.) in one of the URL’s rendering the URL irresolvable (paflapesmyslzivota.cz instead of paflape.smyslzivota.cz).

From there we are redirected to viagralevitratestosterone.com, registered on the 13th October 2011 via NETLYNX, INC.

The website viagralevitratestosterone.com sells fake versions of well known prescription drugs such as Viagra, Cialis, Vicodin etc … in other words the Canadian Pharmacy which is a frontend for GlavMed, a rogue affiliate program run by a Russian cybercrime group.

The domain viagralevitratestosterone.com was also used in a mass spamming campaign two days ago. Reference: AOL Administration Center Notification leads to Canadian Pharmacy.

It is yet unclear if paflape.smyslzivota.cz has been hacked / compromised or not. Visiting the front page directly results in a similar redirect via soft.msk0.ru. The request does not complete at the time of the write-up as PHP errors halt the execution of the redirect script.

If you are a member of Facebook you can learn more and stay up tp date with ongoing spam issues at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Report-Online-Scams/120468575683.

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On October 27 and 28, 2011 I participated in a Microsoft Office 365 event in Harrisburg Pennsylvania and in fact I was the opening presentation titled “Cloud 101”. The sound in the beginning is very low because I forgot to wear the microphone. Once the staff stopped me and I setup the microphone the sound gets a little better. I wish I could have taken all of you, my co-workers with me however sadly that was not possible. Anyway here is the next best thing. If you are curious about the “cloud” check out the presentation. Lucky for me I remain “off camera” for the majority of the presentation.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Technical Note: This video uses Microsoft Silverlight. Take a moment to run the small install in order to watch the video. If you have a 64bit computer you will need to run the 32bit version of Internet Explorer to view the video. You can find your 32bit version of Internet Explorer at C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer.

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