The Firewalls and Virus Protection Security Alert Blog
                                    Keep up to date on Internet Security with the  
                                                                   Firewalls and Virus Protection
Security Alert Blog                     Online Since 2004

                                          Richard Rossbauer's

     Vital Internet Security Alerts and Information for the everyday Non-technical Computer user, Internet User and Web Surfer who just wants to be safe doing basic stuff without the hassle of viruses, spyware, or worse.

I'm very pleased that you're here today, and that you're concerned about your computer and Mobile security and family Internet Safety. I look forward to your early return to the Security Alert Blog. 

  Thanks, Richard Rossbauer (Read About Us)  

Save this Page 

Ghostly Cursor Moves To TOP

March 26, 2017

I recently had the opportunity to help a friend find out why, (and stop) the ghostly curser moves around their monitor screen even when they had their hand off of the mouse.

After completely scanning their (Windows 7) computer with Malwarbytes and digging in to the mysterious Control Panel's wealth of resources, I found that 'Remote Access' was turned ON.

So I turned it OFF and their cursor has stopped making its Ghostly moves since then.

That prompted the question: "How easy is it to break into my computer?"

Here's what US-CERT* published on the subject:

"Some software applications have default settings that allow other users to access your computer unless you change the settings to be more secure. Examples include chat programs that let outsiders execute commands on your computer or web browsers that could allow someone to place harmful programs on your computer that run when you click on them.

Unfortunately, intruders are always discovering new vulnerabilities (informally called "holes") to exploit in computer software. The complexity of software makes it increasingly difficult to thoroughly test the security of computer systems.
When holes are discovered, computer vendors will usually develop patches to address the problem(s).

However, it is up to you, the user, to obtain and install the patches, or correctly configure the software to operate more securely.

Most of the incident reports of computer break-ins received at the CERT/CC could have been prevented if system administrators and users kept their computers up-to-date with patches and security fixes."

*US-CERT is a trusted partner and authoritative source in cyberspace for the Federal Government; SLTT governments; private industry; and international organizations.


Tax Refund Fraud  To TOP

March 17, 2017

Tax refund fraud affects hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of U.S. citizens annually.

I try to visit the KrebsOnSecurity blog at least weekly, It's a powerful resource for keeping up to date with the cyber criminal activities going on that pose silent threats to all of us.

There is always so much good material there that it would be difficult to share it all with you directly - the best I can do is remind you of what is trending and encourage you to read Brian Kreb's comments and advice.

For example, read his timely posts on Tax Refund Fraud -

"Victims usually first learn of the crime after having their returns rejected because scammers beat them to it. Even those who are not required to file a return can be victims of refund fraud, as can those who are not actually due a refund from the IRS.


While there isn’t a great deal you can do to stop someone at your employer from falling for one of these W-2 phishing scams, there are some steps you can take to make it less likely that you will be the next victim of tax refund fraud:"
 ( ...Read more here)


Skimmer Update - Fascinating  To TOP

March 7, 2017

           More on Bluetooth Ingenico Overlay Skimmers

Brian Krebs has featured several stories about “overlay” card and PIN skimmers made to be snapped in-place atop Ingenico-brand card readers at store self-checkout lanes.

Here's his revisit of the topic because a security technician at a U.S.-based retailer recently shared a few photos of several of these devices pulled from compromised card terminals, and the images and his story offer more detail than in previous articles.

Visit Mr. Krebs blog to see how diabolically clever the thieves are who created the skimming cover for this terminal.

In his earlier article, Mr. Krebs mentioned that there are countless nationwide retailers that have hundreds of thousands of these Ingenico devices installed in self-checkout lanes, and that in turn means millions of employees and customers who are the first lines of defense against skimmers.

The more people know about what to look for in these fraud devices, the more likely the fraudsters will lose their up-front investments — and maybe even get busted trying to retrieve them.

See our post of Sep 5, 2015 "All About Skimmers -" for More

Under Attack  To TOP

Feb 23, 2017

IndianWarrior andwagon TrainRemember the movies of the Indians circling the wagon train as they attacked the brave pioneer settlers?

Looks like the same thing is happening - but with your Mac under attack!

Yet another virus has been created to infect and steal from your Mac's private files.

It's called "Xagent" and appears to have come from - you guessed it -  Russia.

And if you think Apple computers are still malware immune, this new attack proves otherwise.

At the time of this writing, details pertaining to the infection method and future capabilities of this malware were still not confirmed.

However, the following tips to stay safe are based on industry best practices and what is known about Xagent for minimizing the possibility of being infected by it.

It's possible that the infection comes with a trojan named Komplex. Found in late 2016 to be infecting Macs through a combination of emails sent to specific targeted users containing a PDF attachment that held the malicious code.

Opening the PDF would lead to infecting the system.

This is a common ploy for infection from many trojans; it's extremely important for users to practice safe internet habits and not open or preview emails from unknown senders...

and under no circumstances should you ever open an attachment that is sent to you from someone you don't know.

Read more at TechRepublic


Dangerous Scenario  To TOP

Feb 12, 2017

     Have you experienced this Dangerous Scenario?

Imagine for a moment that you and your family have just sat down at the dinner table when your phone rings.

You respond with your usual "Hello" and a strange voice asks if they are interrupting something.

You respond, possibly with a trace of annoyance, "Yes".
The caller hangs up.

Why was that dangerous?

The bad news is that some of these calls are going from aggravating to malicious.

There are scammers making these seemingly harmless phone calls, but you won't believe how they are using these calls against their victims.

If they record you saying "yes," they can use it to claim that you agreed to certain charges. They then threaten to sue you if you attempt to deny the charges.

These calls usually show up with a local area code on the caller ID. This lets the victims' guard down, thinking it's someone local and they might know the person who is calling,

What you need to do:

Police urge everyone who receives a call like this to immediately hang up. It's not rude to hang up on a potential scammer.

Caution is always the best action, especially in today's world!

Warn your family and friends - and try your best not to ever answer a stranger's question with, "Yes".

(Thanks to Linda Defore and Kim Komando for this heads-up)

Password Security Update  To TOP

Feb 1, 2017

                      Password Do’s and Don’ts 
                    Updates from

The Internet Of Things (IoT) connectivity with our daily habits continues to develop with greater interest in the amazing capabilities of the internet.

But, it also has spawned the malware that amplifies its downside - a threat to your Internet Security.

Strong and secure passwords are essential to maintaining the security of your Internet connections to the fascinating World Wide Web.

So why not take a new look at the passwords you use? Are they
as secure as they were - now that the IoT is blossoming?

Here are a few tips from the KrebsOnSecurity Blog for creating strong passwords. Take a moment to review these, and consider strengthening some of your passwords if they fall short.

Create unique passwords that use a combination of words,
    numbers, symbols, and both upper- and lower-case letters.

Do not use your network username as your password.

Don’t use easily guessed passwords, such as “password” or

Do not choose passwords based upon details that may not be
   as confidential as you’d expect, such as your birth date, your
   Social Security or phone number, or names of family members.

Do not use words that can be found in the dictionary. Password-
   cracking tools freely available online often come with dictionary
   lists that will try thousands of common names and passwords. If
   you must use dictionary words, try adding a numeral to them, as
   well as punctuation at the beginning or end of the word, or both.

Avoid using simple adjacent keyboard combinations: For
    example, “qwerty” and “asdzxc” and “123456” are horrible
    passwords and that are trivial to crack.

Some of the easiest-to-remember passwords aren’t words at all
   but collections of words that form a phrase or sentence, perhaps
   the opening sentence to your favorite novel, or the opening line
   to a good joke. Complexity is nice, but length is key. It used to
   be the case that picking an alphanumeric password that was
   8-10 characters in length was a pretty good practice. No more!

            Read the rest of Krebs valuable article here:


GOOGLE Chrome Trap!  To TOP

January 25, 2017

Most of us know how clever, and devious today's  Cyber criminals have become.

They always seem to be one step ahead of our security professionals who must not only prepare defenses against them, but need to anticipate what devious and malicious ruse they will come up with next.

Although not all scams are initiated through malicious messages, there is a new malware attack involving bait-and-switch websites that you need to know about.

If you are a Google Chrome user, this affects you.

Hackers have discovered another way to break into websites that have weak security, so they can fool visitors into downloading malware.

Here's how this malware scam works. Three factors are needed for it to be successful:

1. Victim is using the Chrome Browser on a Windows machine.
2. Victim lives in an English speaking country - The U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia are being targeted.
3. Victim is sent to the malicious site through search engine results (You would have to click the link to the site that shows up in a search).

If all of these factors are in place, you could fall victim to this attack.

The hackers are inserting JavaScript into poorly secured websites. If you're using Chrome and click the link from a search engine result the JavaScript makes the website

If you  see a bunch of gibberish, or "diamonds," making it impossible to read, that's the scam result.

When you realize the page is unreadable, a fraudulent Chrome message appears saying that "The 'HoeflerText' font wasn't found, which is why you can't read the
page."  You're then asked to update the "Chrome Font Pack."

Warning! Clicking on the Update button on this message will infect your computer with click-fraud adware.

Hidden ads will be loaded and clicked on automatically. This is how the criminal gets paid, by ripping off legitimate ad networks.

At this time the risk to Chrome users is that their computer is infected with click-fraud adware.

However, this scheme could change at a moment's notice.
The hacker could change the malicious link into something worse, like encrypting ransomware.

The best defense is knowing what to look for. If you visit a site and it asks you to download a font update, do NOT do it!

You can remove "The HoeflerText font wasn’t found" automatically with help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. These
applications are recommended because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.
Ransom Ware?  To TOP
January 21, 2017

malwarebutes protectionThank goodness for my Anti-virus software. I have no idea how many 'Ransomware' attacks it has deflected...

... and according to the Malwarebytes Labs current
blog posts, the cyber criminals pushing ransom attacks will probably become worse in 2017.

Malwarebytes has protected me, but this is not a paid promotion (I am not an affiliate and get no compensation for posting this).

Seems like everywhere you turn, there’s another story about a new ransomware threat. Unfortunately, this
trend in cybercrime is not going away.

On the bright side: As dangerous as ransomware can be, it’s not insurmountable.

So instead of closing your eyes and praying you will not become a prisoner,

Take a look at the Malwarebytes Lab's helpful advice on protection here:


By The Way, about 5 years ago before I installed
Malwarebytes, my computer was abducted by a slick bunch of 'ComputerNappers" and it cost nearly $500 to make it operable again.

All of my files are now backed up online. (Check Out 25
options for backing up your files)

Stay Safe and Be Secure -

Generous Giving  To TOP

December, 2016

Seasonal Generosity and the Scammers

Many of us share with the less fortunate during the Christmas season.

It's also an active period for Scammers and Cyber crooks. As many times as we are reminded of the dangers, the increasing cleverness of the ner-do-wells can still trap us into taking the happy edge off of our holidays.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes reminders and case histories to Alert us, but who remembers to check the FTC website?

Here's a reminder from the FTC Blog - and very appropriate:

             Make sure your money goes to real charities.

"As a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge shows us year after year, the holidays are an important time to share with people in need. Unfortunately, sometimes charity scammers try to take advantage of your good will. And even when you’re dealing with legitimate charities, it’s still important to make sure a charity will spend your donation the way you want it to. Always check out a charity before you give."

Here's the link the the FTC blog where you can learn more


Internet of Things  To TOP

November, 2016
                    Is your Refrigerator Secure?

Recent hacking and malware activity has led me back to one of my must trusted resources on Internet security, the KrebsOnSecurity Blog.

And if you have heard anything about the hacks and Denials of Service associated with the IoT - the Internet of Things - you should be cautious, too.

Especially when it comes to creating Passwords for things like your Refrigerator, Network cameras, DVRs, some printers and routers, etc.

Here's just one Important Tip on Password Do’s and Don’ts from a recent Brian Krebs blog post:

Do not use words that can be found in the dictionary. Password-cracking tools freely available online often come with dictionary lists that will try thousands of common names and passwords. If you must use dictionary words, try adding a numeral to them, as well as punctuation at the beginning or end of the word (or both!).

Learn more from Mr. Krebs here: KrebsOnSecurity


Anti-virus Apps for Androids (EverGreen)  To TOP

Sep, 2016
          Internet Security for Android

Your mobile device is just as vulnerable to online dangers as your computer.

You need to combat modern mobile malware & Internet threats, protect your privacy, and safeguard personal data, even if your device is lost or stolen, using a proven Anti-virus program for your Android smartphone..

You need Immediate response to the latest threats which are are emerging all the time, plus -

 *  Premium protection against mobile malware
 *  Immediate response to new threats
 *  Detection of fraudulent and malicious links
 *  Remote control of lost or stolen devices
 *  Protection against phishing attempts
 *  Simple online management

According to TomsGuide, here are 5 top of the line Android Anti-virus applications (Apps)

    Best Overall Android Antivirus App
    rated 9/10 (Superior)
    rated 8/10
   rated 7/10
    rated 7/10
    rated 7/19

Click to Read more at Tom's Guide, with prices.


Courtesy of the Editors at Netscape  To TOP

July, 2016
       Top 10 ATM PINs You Should Never Use

If a crook steals your ATM card, there are only four little numbers standing between the bad guy and the contents of your bank account.

What is the first Personal Identification Number (PIN) the crook will try in an attempt to clean you out? That would be 1234, which is used by fully 11 percent of us as our ATM PIN number.

Nick Berry, a data scientist and founder of Data Genetics, a Seattle technology consultancy, analyzed 3.4 million four-digit PINs using the numerals 0 to 9; the PINs were previously released and exposed in security breaches. Berry wanted to determine which PINs were the most popular, and, therefore, left bank accounts the most vulnerable.

He told The Exchange that he discovered a "staggering lack of imagination" when it comes to selecting PINs. Following close on the heels of 1234 are 1111 (6 percent) and 0000 (2 percent).

Bottom line: 
Fully 19 percent of us use one of these three 4-digit PINs--and crooks know it.

And that's not all. More than a quarter of all ATM PINs could be easily guessed by a crook by just attempting 20 combinations of four-digit numbers.

That's astounding when you consider there are 10,000 different combinations of four-digit numbers that can be created using numerals 0 to 9. "It's amazing how predictable people are," Berry told The Exchange.

Why are we so predictable when choosing our Pins. Two reasons. First, we don't like numbers that are hard to remember. Second, we think we'll never be the victim of theft or that we'll ever lose our wallet.

The top 10 most popular ATM PINs:
1. 1234
2. 1111
3. 0000
4. 1212
5. 7777
6. 1004
7. 2000
8. 4444
9. 2222
10. 6969

The top 10 least popular ATM PINs:
1. 8068
2. 8093
3. 9629
4. 6835
5. 7637
6. 0738
7. 8398
8. 6793
9. 9480
10. 8957

Tips on how NOT to choose a PIN:

  • Many commonly used PINS are birthdays, anniversaries or birth years. Avoid any PIN that begins with "19." Every four-digit combination that begins with "19" is in the top 20 percent of the dataset.

  • Do not use "2580." It may seem like a random selection of numbers, but they are the numbers in the middle column of buttons down a telephone or ATM keypad.

  • In the 3.4 million PINs Berry analyzed, the most popular one, 1234, was used more often than the lowest 4,200 codes combined.


Smartphone Security  To TOP
October 29, 2015

 Some Common Mobile Security Problems

Use of smartphones and tablets is so prevalent and widespread that we sometimes forget just how vulnerable to cyber attack they(we) are.

Hackers and other intruders depend on our often casual use and indifference to these threats.

While there are many places through which we can be attacked, one often disregarded avenue is the Operating System.

It may be out-of-date. Security patches or fixes for mobile devices' operating systems are not always installed on mobile devices in a timely manner, often taking weeks or months for them to be provided by the device manufacturer.

Depending on the nature of the vulnerability, the patching process may be complex. Google, for example, develops updates to fix security vulnerabilities in the Android OS, but it is up to device manufacturers to produce specific updates
for their devices.

Then it's up to the Carrier to test it and relay the updates to consumers' devices, making certain that the updates do not create conflicts with the existing device software..

Users should always be aware and on the alert for updates on the Apple iOS smartphones, as well.

And if your mobile device is getting a bit old, say - older than two years, manufacturers may no longer support it. Some manufacturers stop supporting smartphones as early as 12 to 18 months after their release.

The fine article at PCWorld descibes many more common vulnerabilities and threats. A good idea to review it if you have an Android device.


What Time Is It?  To TOP

October 19, 2015

Apple's smartwatch is now on the wrists of an estimated 3 million people.

For those of us not yet among the millions of iWatch
wearers, here are a few highlights to get you prepared for yours:

The Standard touch screen is approximately a 1 5/16 inch x 1 1/16 inch rectangle.

It operates on a version of the Apple Operating system (iOS) that's a bit simpler than the smartphone counterpart.

You'll be able to make calls and use Web-based services from the watch when it's connected to a compatible device (iPhone 5 and up, running the latest version of iOS 8). The Watch connects with iPhones via Bluetooth Low Energy and built-in Wi-Fi.

It's available in three styles - Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. Each offers two watch face sizes and a selection of bands and buckles. Apple Watch Sport, with an anodized aluminum case in silver or space gray goes for $349 ($399 for bigger face size).

The most luxurious Apple Watch Edition is made from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys. It's worn with specially designed straps and bands with 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins.

The Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000. (With added features, this could run up to around $15,000).

Whet your appetite?

More information here at Tom's Guide.

Is Your Smartphone Secure?  To TOP

Sep 10, 2015

Is the Apple operating system more secure than Android?

Mobile Devices are still much less likely than computers to get attacked and infected. And Android is finally catching up to the kinds of strict security measures that Apple has had for years.

Apple’s iOS is still inherently safer and security updates come regularly to all devices more often than they do for Android, but ...

If your preference is Android over iOS, buy a Google Nexus device which gets updated more quickly than any other Android products.

The bottom line: The mobile security situation is looking up, but your best choice for safety now is (read more)

Credit Card Readers and the Threat of Identity Theft To TOP

Sep 5, 2015

All About Skimmers (and the increasing use of Credit Cards)

The series by "KrebsonSecurity" about ATM skimmers, gas pump skimmers and other related fraud devices has become by far the most-read post on his blog. This gallery was put together to showcase the entire series, and to give others a handy place to reference with all of these stories in one place.

ATMkeypadClick the headline or the image associated with each post for the full story.

Please **SHARE**

I thought it a good idea to share these reminders with you....Richard To TOP

June 2015


WRITTEN BY A COP: Everyone should take 5 minutes to read this. It may save your life or a loved one's life. In daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation... This is for you, and for you to share with your wife, your children, & everyone you know. After reading these 9 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. Learned this from a tourist guide. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you... Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS!)

The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.


If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, Repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door.

Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side.. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

        -  -  -  -  - PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE -  -  -  -  -

From the Archives To TOP

Cell phones could be putting your Safety at risk

HEADLINE - Cellphone `Distracted Walking` Sending Pedestrians to the ER         (From the TUESDAY, June 25 Quality of Life HealthDay News)

Pedestrians are becoming more likely to be injured while using their cellphones and an estimated 1,500 were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2010 as a result, a new study(*) finds.

It's impossible to know how many of the injuries could have been avoided if pedestrians weren't using their cellphones. The study also doesn't determine whether the injuries are on the rise simply because more people are using cellphones.

Whatever the case, study author Jack Nasar said the findings show that cellphone use isn't just a danger to drivers. It's also a hazard to those who are only strolling.

"Stop walking when you're going to take a cellphone call or text. Don't do two things at once," advised Nasar, a professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University who studies cellphones and distraction.

Nasar and colleagues previously reported that pedestrians on public streets are more likely to have close calls with cars if they are using their cellphones. In the new study, the researchers sought to understand the risk on a national level by examining a federal database of emergency room visits from 2004 to 2010.

The investigators found that the estimated number of pedestrian injuries linked to cellphones -- including those that had nothing to do with cars, such as walking into something -- varied from as low as 256 to as high as 597 between 2004 and 2007. The numbers then jumped to 1,055 in 2008, 1,113 in 2009 and 1,506 in 2010.

(*)The study appeared in the 2012 August issue of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
More Quality of Life information is available every day here
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Check the Security Alert Blog Archives To TOP

Are the Smartphone Games your Kids play really safe?

Many of you have visited my web pages about Family Online Safety and shared your experiences about how you protected your children from the ever present, and increasing online threats.

Kids Internet Security - How Did You Teach Your Children To
Be Safe When They Were learning to Surf the Internet?

Now, with millions of our kids spending hours and hours using their own smartphones, the question becomes - "What about their safety when playing games on these smartphones?"

PC Magazine's on line Security Watch Blog recently reported on three of those games that are collecting personal data from our children.

And over at TrendMicro, they noticed an increase in the sophistication of recent mobile malware, both in terms of technique and deployment.

Their flagship mobile product Trend Micro™ Mobile Security Personal Edition uses a cloud-based Smart Protection Network™ and Mobile App Reputation technology to stop threats.

They offer a 30 day free trial of their Mobile Security Personal Edition for Protection of Android™ devices against loss, data theft, viruses and online threats.

So now, I would update my question to include mobile digital devices -

Kids Internet Security- How Did You Teach Your Children To Be Safe When They Were learning to Surf the Internet and Play games on their Smartphones?

We all love kids and have our own methods for tying to protect them. It would be a tremendous gift to share how you have done that for your children.

I invite, and encourage you to share here -

Thanks from this Great Grandfather who has many smartphone literate grand and great grandchildren who are precious... and their little fingers can navigate those tiny screens and buttons twice as fast as I ever will.


Check the Security Alert Blog Archives   To TOP


SPAM driving you to frustration, too? No Wonder!

I have been plagued by SPAM and Ad POPUPS recently. 

So I did some checking and here's what I found -
According to Trustwave (http://www.trustwave.com), SPAM activity in June of this year has increased by approximately 500% since February!

68.7% of all email was Spam, most of it originating in Mexico, India and Peru with nearly 75% of that related to Pharmaceuticals
The 3 top countries originating SPAM were Spain, United States and Argentina.frustrated by SPAM

No Wonder we're frustrated, Right?
Some more interesting information I found -
Trustwave's SpiderLabs Radio June 28th highlights reported Malware in Mobile Apps on the increase and more Bad Apps are showing up in Google Play, even Mobile fake AntiVirus apps.

And this report from the Trustwave SpiderLabs BLOG on Strange Physical Addresses used by SPAMMERS will help you identify some of their tricks used to deceive you into believing that their messages are valid.

Read the compete report here, it's enlightening -
Read these two short articles that will help you when SPAM attacks to your email are driving you to distraction, too -


Caught in a SPAM LOOP

More articles like these in the 
Internet Security Articles Library

Be safe                                                 Richard

My Favorite Posts      To TOP

  Be wary of  Paint.net, it could infect your PC with the FunMoods Malware

Here's a post you don't want to miss - it's by Nichole Dean of Nichole on the net.

She has been a successful net marketer for a good many years with just loads of experience and she just made a mistake that anyone of us could make.

She clicked a Download button in an email ad for Paint.net, a product that interested her - but she did it without thoroughly examining the ad content and ended up with the Fun.Mood virus.

Fortunately for those of us who are on her blog mail list, she posted a really great step-by-step story of how it happened and best of all - how she painstakingly removed it from her PC.

Please do yourself a big precautionary favor and check her post at
Nichole on the Net here -

She even included screen shots of what she did. This is really helpful stuff.

Thank you Nichole!

                                                                                ... Richard
Why  EVERGREEN            

Threats to our online security are always with us but aren't always easy to recognize. The cyber crooks are sophisticated - and devious. They understand human emotions like fear, anxiety, and apathy and continually design - and redesign their phishing emails to trap us into exposing our personal and even our financial information.

I'm leaving the "EVERGREEN" posts here as reminder Alerts to a variety of recent phishing practices to help us recognize, or become suspicious of similar messages that can appear in our mail boxes.
                                                     ... Richard

Check the Security Alert Blog Archives   To TOP


Reminder about Why Strong Passwords are so Important

One of my most interesting and reliable sources for learning about the latest nasty stuff taking place on the Internet is Brian Krebs' Blog "KrebsOnSecurity"

While reading through his blog posts recently, one of the headlines attracted my attention - "Hacked Inboxes Lead to Bank Fraud".

The meat of his post described exactly what happened to us, a small business, as I reported in my March 30th post - even to the contents of the email sent by a hacker to one of our local banks from our email address - using our email service which the hacker then disabled.

Read Mr. Krebs post here - "Hacked Inboxes Lead to Bank Fraud" and when you get to the part where the Hacker's email is described, you'll see why our local banker was astute enough to be suspicious and contact us for verification.

Worse still, of the 3 examples cited in Mr. Kreb's blog post, one of the banks failed to challenge that email.

The Bad grammar and poor punctuation should have raised the alarm for any trained and responsible bank employee.

Mr. Krebs further points out that "Hacked and phished email accounts increasingly are serving as the staging grounds for bank fraud schemes targeting small businesses. The scams are decidedly low-tech and often result in losses of just a few thousand dollars, but the attacks frequently succeed because they exploit existing trust relationships between banks and their customers".

Which is a call to action to reread my last post –"Does Your Password Pass the Test?", and get some expert guidance on creating your own Strong passwords.

When was the last time you reviewed your passwords? Maybe now's the time to take a new look. TRY THIS TEST >> http://howsecureismypassword.net/


Check the Security Alert Blog Archives   To TOP


We didn't realize our email password had been cracked, until...

...on a recent Friday morning, we received a 'phone call from a local Bank Manager asking if we had just made an email request for the balance in our account.

This was from a bank where we did not have an account.

A short time later, we realized that our incoming email had stopped - no messages since around the time the Bank Manager called us.

We contacted our eMail Service Provider and learned that our password had been compromised and replaced by the Hacker, who also installed a redirect code that diverted all of our incoming email to his private Gmail address.

Looking back at this episode, it became apparent that our password for this email account was weak - very weak, as a matter of fact.

The eMail Service Provider helped us clean up the mess and guided us in restoring our email service with a much stronger - very much stronger password.

What did we learn?

One - you can't be complacent or unconcerned about the way things are when it comes to your computer and Internet security. You must review and update regularly

Two - hackers and crackers have software that can decipher your simple keywords at cyber speed

Three - our computers are being bombarded constantly by non-human attackers.

When was the last time you reviewed your passwords? Maybe now's the time to take a new look.



Check the Security Alert Blog Archives   To TOP


Is That Returned eMail really Something You Sent?

Have you noticed how cleverly the cyber thieves are wording their phishing emails, lately?
Have you really sent all of those emails that were bounced - with as many as a dozen daily notices ending in your mailbox with subjects like these-
* Returned mail: see transcript for details
* Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender
I'm sure you noticed that each one of these messages has an attachment that you are encouraged to open.
Don't Open It!
- those emails appear to have been sent from locations overseas, and who knows what malware they will put on your computer. I don't know what those attachments contain because I never clicked on them.


Check the Security Alert Blog Archives   To TOP


Internet Social Media and your kids Safety- are they at risk?

As a parent, grandparent, and now a great-grandparent, I've watched more than a dozen children learn to socialize with other kids - it's part of growing up.

As grown-ups, we socialize in many ways. We tweet, we make friends on facebook, we Stumble, Digg, make videos to share on YouTube, and look to make friends on even more Social Media sites .

Social networking sites are fun and children want to participate in them, too, but they do present some potential dangers.

With the popularity of social networking sites, here are some words of caution.

As a parent, the very first thing we should do is teach our children about the possible dangers that exist on the Internet, particularly about situations that might crop up on a social networking website.

This free article highlights some of the more Important subjects to review with our children - You can read it in about two minutes

..just click on Internet Social Media and Your Childen's Safety

Here's the short link to share with your friends - http://tinyurl.com/kidssocializing                                                         ... Richard


Check the Security Alert Blog Archives   To TOP


More and More SPAM  has me ticked off!

I accept that any one who spends much time surfing the Internet for information, and leaving  a name and email address to have access to it -

 - is going to be added  to more and more email lists, and receive more and more 'follow-up' emails. That's fair,

But what really aggravates me is the emails from unknown sources (SPAM) that appear to be stoppable by sending a reply with REMOVE typed into the Subject line.

What a farce! This morning alone I did the "REMOVE' routine for 7 of those messages and  EACH ONE resulted in an 'Undeliverable' message from our ever there 'Postmaster in the sky"

From now on, every unsolicited email that offers the 'reply routine' will be deleted using the REPORT AS SPAM option in my email service.

(Probably won't do much good, but it'll make me feel better)
                                                                       ... Richard 

Check the Security Alert Blog Archives - Lots of Cool Posts


  Free report - "Avoiding Current Security Threats"

   You can take steps to avoid today's security threats, and I have outlined them in a special report you can have for Free.

   This report is an update and a bit of an overview of the information published in my newsletters, blog and websites.

   It covers the basics of what to look for and how to prepare your computer to avoid the next high risk threat. It's a quick download (PDF file) which you can obtain by going to the registration page and leaving your email address so that the download instructions can be sent to your email inbox.

   Get Free Report here and share this web address with your friends so the emails you get from them are clean and free of malware.




Please accept our INVITATION to Help Parents
Teach Their Kids to be Safe Surfers – an Invitation to Help other Parents, Grandparents and Guardian by Sharing Your Experiences of Teaching Your Children To Be Safe When They Were learning to Surf
the Internet. Please Tell Us About It HERE



EVERGREEN     Update your Emergency Virus Protection program

Free mcAfee STINGER backup virus scanner and removerIf you don't have your Virus Protection program yet, here's an Emergency Step you should take, Right Now!
 McAfee offers a FREE Virus Scanning program named

  It has grown in size a little over the past few years and no longer fits on a single floppy Disk. But so many of the newer PCs, including lap tops don't have a "A" floppy drive anyway, you should burn it to a CD or memory stick for an offline back up tool.

  You can use it as we do, to check any of your PC computers for viruses, without being on line.

  It is an 'After the Fact' application, which means that it does not scan incoming email files, attachments or downloads, but it does scan whatever you have already received online.

  It currently checks, and repairs hundreds of recent viruses. It's FREE to download from
McAfee STINGER                          
                                                                                                       ... Richard


More Tags:  ,
          cyberbullying, Firewalls
, Keyloggers,  Disaster Recovery,
phishing, , Trojans,
          ,, ,
Conficker, ,
 Rogue software


Return to Firewalls Home Page     CLICK to Visit  our Internet Security Website

FREE Internet Security and
Computer Safety Articles and Reports

for your copies

 (New Window)

SQUASH the Bug

UpTo Date
with Latest Posts
To the Security Alert Blog
March 26, 2017

March 17, 2017
March 7, 2017
Feb 23, 2017
Feb 11, 2017

February 1, 2017
January 2017


 You can get the Web version of our app and read all of our SMS Special Security Alert messages conveniently on your mobile device!

Visit the "web" version of our APP which you can access WITHOUT downloading it from one of the app stores. This will allow you to be included in our SMS Special Alert messages, (seldom more than one or possibly two per week). Once you register, you will go directly to our App's home page on future visits.

To get your app, go to: http://firewalls.theicanetworkapps.com

Contact Me
I Tweet Only the  things that I believe
all my followers will find useful.
So, grab a Twitter account and

Follow me on Twitter

Visit our Family Friendly
 Internet Security Website

Automatic notification
of Blog updates

powered by





90 Percent of PCs
 are infected
with Spyware


Check out this FREE Trial
VIPRE Internet Security

December 2016
Nov 2106
Sep 10, 2016
Sep 5, 2016

June 2015
July 2, 2013
July 7, 2013
July 11, 2013

Jan - Dec 2012
Apr - DEC 2011

Jan-Mar 2011
April-Dec 2010
Jan-Feb-Mar 2010

Jul-Aug-Sep 2009
April-May-June 2009
Jan-Feb-Mar 2009
December 2008
Sep-Nov 2008
June-Aug 2008
April-May 2008
Feb-Mar 2008
Dec - Jan 2008
Oct-Nov 2007
Aug-Sep 2007
Jun-July 2007
Apr-May 2007
Jan 2007,Feb-Mar 07
Oct 2006,Dec  2006
July 2006,Sep 2006
April 2006,-June 2006
Dec 2005,-Mar 2006
Sep -Nov 2005
June,-Aug, 2005
March, -May, 2005
February 2005
January,  2005
December 2004

Some of my favorite Blogs
Blogged By RichardPresents
Sunbelt Blog
"Kenneth A. McArthur
 Marketing Thoughts
Basic Computer Skills Blog
WhyWait? Start it Now

Security Fix Blog

Checkout the eBook "How to Protect Your   Privacy and Security Online"

Send me an eMail if you are interested and I'll send you the Link - Free for our loyal readers
eMail to Richard
CLICK HERE for your FREE  Guide to Stopping Spam - Once and For All

Free Report on Stopping SPAM
Instant Access - Instant Download - Anytime of the day or night
(This is an electronic book that you will download upon purchase...there will be no book mailed to your address)
  • Disclosures
    Material Connection
    You should assume that the owner of this website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the providers of goods and services mentioned in this message and may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline. -- (Terminology used with permission of Ken McArthur)


  • Richard Rossbauer

    Create Your Badge

    Chamber of Commerce - on the Web logo
    Recognized as a Family Friendly website

                                              Email this page to a friend


                                           Close Window                    T
    o TOP 

                   ©  *RichardPresents.com is the parent company of Firewalls-and-virus-protection.com ,

            Privacy Policy|Contact     Security Alert Blog    Proud Charter Member of Chamber of Commerce on the Web