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Virus Information And Resources

Norton AntiVirus Download
Reviews and Downloads of Norton software.
Norton downloads available:
Norton Antivirus 2009,
Norton 360 download, and
Norton Internet Security download.

Online Trojan Scanner
Normal virus scanning software is often known to miss trojan horses, so regularly using this online trojan scanner could be a useful addition to your Internet security schedule.

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Practicing Safe Email: The Basics Revisited

To many computer users, these security measures may seem self-evident. However, the widespread distribution and damage caused by some viruses show that a great number of end users are not practicing even these basic virus protection techniques. Perhaps those more experienced with computers have a certain responsibility to try to educate "newbie" colleagues and friends about basic email security issues such as those listed below.

1. Install and use anti-virus software. Modern anti-virus software is easy to configure and use even for those new to computing. If buying AV software is a problem there are quite adequate free scanners available. One such free product is AVG.

2. Regularly update your virus scanner. People often get infected with a virus simply because they haven't downloaded the latest definitions. It's not uncommon for the major anti-virus companies to release several updates within a week, so it pays to continually check for updates. If possible, configure your anti-virus software to download updates automatically as well as check manually from time to time. Even the most reliable and sophisticated anti-virus software is virtually useless against new viruses if it doesn't have the most current definitions available.

3. Be very wary of email attachments even if they are from people you know and trust. Some viruses can attach and send themselves to your email address in such a way that you may believe you are receiving an email from a friend or colleague. This is know as spoofing.

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Phishing Scams

Phishing is one of the most prevalent of all Internet scams. At any one time, a large number of major financial institutions and online entities around the world will be the target of phishing scammers. Some high profile institutions such as Citibank and PayPal are targeted almost continually. Phishing scams attempt to trick people into providing sensitive personal information such as credit card or banking details.

How Phishing works:

Phishing scams attempt to trick people into providing sensitive personal information such as credit card or banking details. In order to carry out this trick, the phishing scammers send a fraudulent email disguised as an official request for information from the targeted company. Generally, they also create a "look-a-like" website that is designed to closely resemble the target company's official site. The fake website may appear almost identical to the official site. Style, logos, images, navigation menus and other structural components may look the same as they do on the genuine website.

Recipients of the scam email are requested to click on an included hyperlink. Clicking this link will cause the fake website to open in the user's browser. Once at this fake website, the user may be presented with a web form that requests private information such as credit card and banking details, and other account data such as a home address and phone number. Often, the visitor is requested to login using his or her username and password. All information entered into this fake website, including login details, can subsequently be collected and used at will by the criminals operating the scam.

A variation of the scam involves using an embedded form within the bogus email itself. Victims are instructed to enter details such as a password and bank account number into the form provided and return the email to the sender. Another variation attempts to trick recipients into installing a trojan on their computer, either by opening an email attachment or downloading the trojan from a website. The scammers can then use the trojan to collect information from the infected computer. The scam emails are randomly mass-mailed to many thousands of Internet users in the hope of netting just a small number of victims. The majority of people who receive these scam emails will probably not even be customers of the targeted institution. However, the scammers rely on the statistical probability that at least a few recipients will:

1. Have accounts with the targeted institution.
2. Will be unaware of such scams and believe the email to be a legitimate request.

The scam can prove to be a lucrative exercise for the scammers even if only a very small percentage of recipients ultimately become victims.

How Scammers use Information Harvested from Phishing Scams

Scammers are able to use information stolen from victims in a variety of ways. They may:

  • Take over the victim's account.
    After the scammers have harvested information such as passwords, user names and account numbers, they are able to directly access the victim's account. They can then transfer funds to other accounts, conduct transactions, issue cheques in the victim's name and generally manipulate the account in the same way that the legitimate owner could. They can also change the account password so that the victim is locked out of his or her account.
  • Use the victim's credit card details
    If the scammers have stolen credit card details, they can then use these details to make purchases that will be charged to the victim's account.

  • Steal the victim's identity.
    If the scammers have gained enough personal information from their victim, they may be able to steal his or her identity. They can then commit a variety of fraudulent and other criminal activities in the victim's name. Identity theft can have very serious and long-term repercussions. Identity theft victims can spend months or years trying to clear their name, sort out legal issues, recover from debt and repair damaged credit ratings.

What to do if you Receive a Suspected Phishing Scam or Virus?

  1. DELETE the email from your computer as soon as possible! ! !

  2. DO NOT click on any links in the scam email!
  3. DO NOT supply any personal information of any kind as a result of the email!
  4. DO NOT reply to the email or attempt to contact the senders in any way!
  5. DO NOT supply any information on the bogus website that may appear in your browser if you have clicked a link in the email!
  6. DO NOT open any attachments that arrive with the email!
  7. REPORT the phishing scam as soon as possible!

 

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