Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Phishing, Spamming, Hacking, Oh My!


Phishing is a fraudulent attempt, usually made through email, to steal your personal information. The best way to protect yourself from phishing is to learn how to recognize a phish.

Phishing emails usually appear to come from a well-known organization and ask for your personal information — such as credit card number, social security number, account number or password. Often times phishing attempts appear to come from sites, services and companies with which you do not even have an account.

In order for Internet criminals to successfully "phish" your personal information, they must get you to go from an email to a website. Phishing emails will almost always tell you to click a link that takes you to a site where your personal information is requested. Legitimate organizations would never request this information of you via email.

Spam is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services. Spam costs the sender very little to send -- most of the costs are paid for by the recipient or the carriers rather than by the sender.

Computer hacking is the most popular form of hacking nowadays, especially in the field of computer security, but hacking exists in many other forms, such as phone hacking, brain hacking, etc. and it's not limited to either of them.

Due to the mass attention given to blackhat hackers from the media, the whole hacking term is often mistaken for any security related cyber crime. This damages the reputation of all hackers, and is very cruel and unfair to the law abiding ones of them, from who the term itself originated. The goal of this website is to introduce people the true philosophy and ethics of hackers, hopefully clearing their name and giving them the social status they deserve.

You might ask why I’m informing you of all of this. Well let me tell you. I’m not too naive where the internet is concerned but I’m no techie either (and proud of it). I like the sources of writers I find on Twitter, along with the audiobook communities, bloggers, writing friends, publishers, all at my fingertips that I can follow and be informed.

I’ve only began going back to Twitter recently because facebook does not have the great information that I can get on Twitter. I’ve been following, been followed, been a favorite and a retweeter, but something happened the other day.

I’m following a lot of Audiobook reviewers, narrators and such so when in my email I found one from HA, (I won’t give their name for obvious reasons) that said “someone is talking about you” I inadvertently clicked the wrong button thinking I was going to be taken to twitter to respond. No biggie, right? Wrong!

I later found out that the same notice went to all my followers that joni sent them. I didn’t! It was some kind of viral spam, that if anyone clicked it, it too would be sent to all of their followers too!

I thought I had been hacked, so I took measures of protecting myself, then I went to HA to see who they were and if I should STOP following them. Their page had been hacked! It was no longer reviews, it was a page full of links to erotica writing and so on, as you can use your own imagination.

I continued to protect and send out my apologies and many were very understanding, informing me that they knew it wasn’t from me, which is good to know that people respect me in that manner! Thank you Twitter followers! I AM legit, the real deal, nothing phishy or scammy about me! I’m a writer in a world of viral pigs who have nothing better to do in their lives but to try and hurt people!

Later that day, I went back to HA only to find that they too were made aware of the hacking scam and their page was back to normal! Whew! We dodged that bullet, twitterers!

I would never hurt a fly! Okay maybe I would kill a few flies, ever live on a farm where flies bite like dogs? But seriously, I would never hurt anyone; my followers know that and respect me, as I them. I’m a writer building my following, and networking with like minds.

Thank you all, you’re a great bunch of people. Give or take a few phish in the sea! ;)


M. SUE said...

We need to be ever on the ball. My virus control alerted me to a mail message supposedly from PayPal that got through my mail on my iPad but not so on my Outlook Express e-mail! I like to think I'd have Ben smart enough to figure it out before it got too far but thankfully it was taken out of my hands by our Pre-planning...this time.
Sending smiles-
Auntie Sue

joni said...

It really wasn't anything a filter could have picked up. I get them from twitter followers all the time.
I thought I was clicking 'respond to', which made the link a viral infestation! lol

I now go directly to twitter itself.

Live and learn! :)