Beware Of Phishing Your Personal Information

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Have you received emails from Paypal, eBay or your bank to ask you updating your personal information? Do you receive emails from some strangers to inform you of transferring or receiving a big money from a foreign country? Most likely they are phishing for your identity and personal information.

You might receive an email directing you to visit a familiar website where you are being asked to update your personal information? The website needs you to verify or update your passwords, credit card numbers, social security number, or even your bank account number. You recognize the business name as one that you’ve conducted business with in the past. So, you click on the convenient “take me there” link and proceed to provide all the information they have requested. Unfortunately, you find out much later that the website is bogus. It was created with the sole intent to steal your personal information. You, my friend, have just been “phished”.

Phishing (pronounced as “fishing”) is defined as the act of sending an email to a recipient falsely claiming to have an established, legitimate business. The intent of the phisher is to scam the recipient into surrendering their private information, and ultimately steal your identity.

It is not at easy as you think to spot an email phishing for information. At first glance, the email may look like it is from a legitimate company. The “From” field of the email may have the .com address of the company mentioned in the email. The clickable link even appears to take you to the company’s website, when in fact, it is a fake website built to replicate the legitimate site.

Many of these people are professional criminals. They have spent a lot of time in creating emails that look authentic. Users need to review all emails requesting personal information carefully. When reviewing your email remember that the “From Field” can be easily changed by the sender. While it may look like it is coming from a .com you do business with, looks can be deceiving. Also keep in mind that the phisher will go all out in trying to make their email look as legitimate as possible. They will even copy logos or images from the official site to use in their emails. Finally, they like to include a clickable link that the recipient can follow to conveniently update their information.

A great way to check the legitimacy of the link is to point at the link with your mouse. Then, look in the bottom left hand screen of your computer. The actual website address to which you are being directed will show up for you to view. It is a very quick and easy way to check if you are being directed to a legitimate site.

Finally, follow the golden rule. Never, ever, click the links within the text of the email from Paypal, eBay or your bank, and always delete the email immediately. Once you have deleted the email, empty the trash box in your email accounts as well. Generally they never ask you updating your personal data through email. They will ask you to login your account and update your personal information. If you are truly concerned that you are missing an important notice regarding one of your accounts, then type the full URL address of the website into your browser. At least then you can be confident that you are, in fact, being directed to the true and legitimate website.

System Restore Is So Useful!

Skills and Tactics Comments Off on System Restore Is So Useful!

A pop-up message came out when I started my computer yesterday morning, indicating that I have a new update. Without any delay and any checking of which type of updating, I clicked the ok button and my computer started to update automatically in a few seconds. ‘Need to restart the computer if the updating could be working!’ – another message came out. OK, no problem, I just clicked the ok button again and was waiting for another few seconds. What happened? I stared at my computer screen. My goodness, my virus protection software could not be in function, two of my favorite icons (volume and connection) disappeared from taskbar, and even worse, the opened window (either for files or internet) did not come back to taskbar area as a taskbar button when I clicked “minimize –“, but disappeared also. When I opened a new file or internet page, the old one (for example, a video) was still working but I could not find them where they are on screen including taskbar area.

In such a case, I could not carry out my work anymore. Then I tried all possible ways to solve the problems, including resetting taskbar, customizing my icons and changing internet options setting, but all the means were not functional. Finally I had to pick up my phone and called my fiend. He advised me why not to try system restore. Oh, yes, I had not tried it yet since I seldom use it and know some new installations will be lost. Without other choice at that moment, I had to take my fiend’s advice and do it. It was really a miracle! My computer came back to the original condition except malfunction of anti-virus software and losing of some new installations. Just clicking “Rollback to the previous databases” for anti-virus software and reinstalling the lost softwares, I got my computer to work properly again.

It is really a waste of my few hours to solve the above incident problems! Taking this lesson, I now practise to create a restore point before any updating and after new software installation. If something happens, I just use the system restore to restore my computer to an earlier restore point. It is that simple! With the restore system, I will be more confidant about my work in future!

The steps for creating a restore point are as follows:

Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore > Tick “Create a restore point” > Next (give a file name) > Create (Screen will shown: New restore point: Saturday 14 2008 time file name).

The restore process is given below:

Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore > Tick “Restore my computer to an earlier time” > Next (choose a date and time. The calendar inside displays in bold all of the dates that have restore points available.) > next (The compute will complete the restore process automatically.)

The ticking page for either “Restore my computer to an earlier time” or “Create a restore point” is shown below.

system restore

I’d love to know if you’ve ever been in this situation or simply tell me your thoughts about this…