Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Paypal Phishing Example

Let’s see if you can figure out which is the fraud in the screenshot:

Screenshot - 8_12_2009 , 11_10_58 AM

Screenshot - 8_12_2009 , 11_11_19 AM

If you haven’t guessed it by now it is the first one. It is a little hard to tell just by a screenshot. The one thing that definitely gives it away is your address bar. In the second screenshot you’ll see your address begin with the first one begins with some weird looking address that looks nothing like something from. Other than the spacing of the website it looks like a pretty good copy of the Paypal login screen. Another difference is that one of the blue tabs running across the top are different. The fraud has “Developers” and the real one has “Shopping”.

The another difference you can’t see is that on the fraud page none of the links are clickable except for “Log In” button. If you run your arrow over them nothing happens. Of course you can enter information for your username and password which of course is what the bad guys want.

This is the original email this fraud was found through:

Screenshot - 8_12_2009 , 11_58_55 AM

Screenshot - 8_12_2009 , 11_59_35 AM

If you look at one obvious thing at the top is that the email address  is from a account. Unless budget cuts at Paypal have forced employees to conduct business through web based email accounts this is a dead giveaway. Second of all Paypal clearly states that it will never email you to login. If you click on anywhere on the page it brings you to the fraud page I first showed you up top. If you get this email delete it immediately. If you suspect something is awry with your account login through the normal procedure which is to go through and login as you normally would.

Technorati Tags: ,,,,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Assessing the value of Facebook

My morning routine involves coffee, Internet, email and Facebook. My use of of the popular social networking site has increased tenfold in the last six months or so. I sometimes check on the hour to see if I've had any updates or to add one of my own. At first when I signed up for an account I had only a few friends and I didn't really check on it too much. As more of my friends started using it my use has increased also.

It has also become something you exchange along with you email and phone number when exchanging contact info. Though it has it's silly side with quizzes, games and other nonsense it does have the feel of a more mature site. Just how does this Internet phenomenon add value to your life, either in a personal or business sense?

Personally I find it a great way to keep in touch with family and friends in a non-intrusive way. In today's world our time constantly being filled up with everyday life event's like family, work, business or personal issue's. We don't always have time to chat with our friends or family. Coordinating people's schedule to chat on the phone or meet up for lunch can be a major challenge to some. Email's can be lost in shuffle between spam mail or lost in a inbox with hundreds of other messages that we'll get to tomorrow. With a simple status report on our Facebook wall or by adding some photo's we can keep others up to date with what were doing. You can keep in touch with those that live far away and have minimal contact with in real life.

I think this a great way for families that only seem to gather for weddings, funerals or holidays to stay in contact during the in between time. Photo's can be shared along with birthday messages. I've been able to keep up with my cousins who live long distances away and find out how they are doing. I find out family news long before I would have through the tradition grapevine of family gatherings and other traditional social events of the past.

Another benefit is to find old school friends to see how they have changed. Though this can be a double edge sword sometimes. Not everyone probably wants to be in touch with their third grade tormentor. The good thing is that "friending" someone is strictly voluntary so you can weed out the undesirables. The benefits I think outweigh the negative though. It's nice to see how old friends are doing. I've made new friends along the way too that I perhaps didn't forge a relationship in real life. You may even find old flames on Facebook that you

may be looking for.

Another valuable thing is that you can learn a lot about people just by what they post(or don't post). The numerous silly games and quizzes can give you insight into people that maybe you've missed in real life. You can (depending on how much information they reveal in there privacy settings) find out tidbits of info about friends or family that you may have known only a little about.

It can be a way to keep business contacts informed and to maintain professional relationships. A word of caution though, businesses and upper management can use this information for or against to you. You may want to think twice about becoming friends with a superior or someone else that may find some of your personal habits or postings disagreeable. If you call in "sick" refrain from posting picture's from the beach you went to the same day or you may have more time on the beach than you like.

Many businesses, celebrities, musicians, politicians, causes and many more well known entities also maintain a Facebook accounts. This can be a personal way to market there items without being overly commercialized. I keep up with Slash (formerly of Guns'N Roses) does every day along with what former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has to say.

Overall I find it very beneficial being on Facebook. It is a way to maintain contact with friends and family in a non-intrusive manner. You can find old friends you went school with or rekindle an old flame of yours that perhaps got away the first time. You may even learn more about your friends and create stronger relationships with them. Celebrities, groups, businesses may stay in touch with their fans that has a more personal touch and less commercialized or faked message than mainstream media outlets. Facebook has an excellent balance of friendliness, fun and maturity that I find very appealing and addicting.

Originally published on

Technorati Tags: ,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Google Voice

Here is a program that’s causing all the fuss with Apple/iPhone/FCC. I didn’t know much about it. I can see how this can have many applications to business(big and small) and personal use. Check out the video which explains more:

Currently you need an invitation to use the service, though it is soon to be open to U.S. Service members which scores points with me. I sent my request in for an invite so I’ll see what happens. Click here to see official website to sign up for an invite if you don’t already have one. See what iPhone users are missing out on.

Technorati Tags: ,,,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Use caution bringing computer in for repair

This report found through PCMECH shows computer tech’s rifling through personal customer files. To make matters worse many of them over charged or exaggerated the repairs needed. In one case they charged for a repair that was never done. This isn’t the first type of report like this that I’ve seen.

j0422406Use caution should you have to bring it to a technician. If possible back up your data and remove it. and do a good cleaning with something like CCleaner to clean out history and passwords. If possible encrypt private files.

People that do this are unethical and possibly breaking the law. They also give your honest technicians a bad reputation. When I’ve repaired or troubleshoot someone's PC I do my best to do work without going into personal files or data. 99% of the time it isn’t necessary nor none of my business to go through personal stuff. Good luck and be  careful.