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may be reading this on Cyber Monday, but the alert is
directed toward the whole cyber-month proceeding Christmas,
Hanukkah, or other seasonal holiday.
spite of the economy, there will be millions of dollars spent
online. Some of it mine, and probably some of it yours.
would hope that it ALL goes to legitimate online merchants, but some
of it will land in the pockets of crooks and criminals lying in wait
for us to drop our guards.
because of the economy, we'll all be searching for bargains and good
deals. That's how we can be trapped!
Cyber criminals are quite sophisticated and know how to prey on
our emotions. There will be a lot of bargains and deals that might
look too good to be true. Some could be booby-trapped with malware
that can lead us to divulge personal financial information to the
wrong people. Identity theft, raided bank accounts, stolen credit
card numbers can all lead to personal financial disaster.
all want to enter online transactions with our eyes open. Know
your merchant. Look at their web sites for evidence of secure
transactions. And if anything even looks a little bit suspicious,
think twice about proceeding with a purchase.
click on any links in the questionable sales/offer page. Confirm
with the merchant that the offer is legitimate. Contact them by
telephone or by entering their web address in a different browser
you don't know their true web address, use Google, Yahoo or other
Search Engines to get it.
the offering merchant doesn't provide a telephone number or means to
contact them through their website, beware! Use extra caution before
the Alert and you'll Enjoy your holidays without any extra stress from
unexpected financial loss.
(I updated my Christmas Greeting website again with a few
more things for kids - see the October 23
post below for the link)
We *know* that with Your Help we can go a LONG way into making sure
Santa visits EVERY needy child this year! Major William (Bill) J.
Grein, Vice President of Toys for Tots, says this is something their
great program, despite it's popularity, has never been able to do.
The need is simply too great.
Therefore, he is a little more than excited that we aim to change that
this year. Check out his message when you get to our website: http://www.internettoydrive.org
US-CERT's(*) November 14th, 2008
revision to their paper on Browser Security is probably one
of the most complete, and easy to follow that you'll find anywhere
on the Internet.
It will help you configure your web browser for safer internet
surfing. It's written for home
computer users, students, small business workers, and any other
person who works with
limited Information Technology (IT) support and broadband (cable
modem, DSL) or dial-up connectivity.
1. Why Secure Your Web Browser?
2. Web Browser Features and Risks
3. How to Secure Your Web Browser
1. Microsoft Internet Explorer
2. Mozilla Firefox
3. Apple Safari
4. Other Browsers
4. Keeping Your Computer Secure
The report is a bit lengthy due to the excellent illustrations and
images included, but there's
a link to a printable version that will make it very easy for you to
print and file it, and
hopefully review and check it against your browser settings first.
You can also download it as a pdf file and read it in Adobe Acrobat.
It's very easy to
navigate in that format, and all of the reference links are still
To your safe surfing, Richard
(By the way - I updated my Christmas Greeting website again with a few
more things for kids - see the October 23 post below for the link)
(*)The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) is
between the Department of Homeland Security and the public and
Established in 2003 to protect the nation's Internet infrastructure,
defense against and responses to cyber attacks across the nation.
They are charged with
protecting our nation's Internet infrastructure.
Virus writers are Targeting micro-blogging sites like
Facebook, and MySpace.
Cyber crooks exploit the tendency of the friends in
communities to trust links from each other and then pose as friends and tempt followers to click on
If you aren't up-to-date on these micro blogging social networking sites,
they are a form of blogging using very short text messages, are
structured around different themes, and offer a variety of interesting
There are hundreds of social sites, but among the micro-sized ones...
Twitter currently appears to be the leader and it's easy and
fun to use.
After creating an account, you publish your micro-content tweets (140
characters in length) using your web browser, cell phone, or the
email client. You can also follow interesting people like friends,
artists, athletes, bands, politicians and check out their insights
As of early November 2008, the virus
named by the
security firmKaspersky Labs) has been linked to friend's messages
from Myspace, Facebook and Twitter.
They'll get a message from a friend on Facebook, for example,
inviting them to watch a funny or possibly naughty video and probably
click on the link and watch it.
If you got such a message from a Twitter friend, your trusting
nature could lead to your computer becoming infected by
These sites can be lots of fun, but do be careful. Some of your new
friends may actually be your new enemies.
... Richard Follow me on
If your children spend any time on the
Internet, you have probably made them aware of the need to be
careful when corresponding with their friends, visiting social media
sites, and downloading music, pictures and other files.
Wouldn't you like to know how effective your training has been?
McAfee (Anti-virus software provider) has two cool little
tests that will give you the answers to that question. (Free, with
nothing to buy and you don't need to leave your name or email
One is for your younger charges and the other
is for teenagers. The tests have just enough questions with
multiple choice answers to let your kids zip through them in less
than 5 minutes...
... you could join in the fun and take the tests, too. Maybe have a
little family competition.
If they score high, you have been a successful mentor. If, not,
you'll know where they could use a little refresher course.
And as a successful teacher, you can help other parents and
guardians if you share the methods you used when you taught them to
surf the internet.
I invite you to share your experiences at my Family Safety
website and read how other parents have faced the same challenge.
the season - preparations for the holidays - shopping for gifts -
and unsuspecting people being scammed out of their money
have tripled their business since the birth of the internet. They
are able to scam people without risking their identity. They can
easily put up a website, transact a scam deal and then remove the
website when it has generated enough money for them - before being
Online scammers usually seem legitimate at first; only when you have
given them your money will you realize how ill-advised and foolish
you have been.
Scammers are increasingly clever and use many tricks to create
fraudulent offers that are hard to identify from valid ones.
Although there is really no sure way to spot an online scam, there
are some common characteristics that should raise your suspicions.
Number 1 - It could be a scam if it sounds too
good to be true.
2. If an offer uses scare tactics or pressures
you to act immediately.
3. You are told that you won a lottery or a raffle
in order for you to claim it,
you have to give out certain
personal information and shell out some money.
4. When you are given free gifts or prizes from a contest
that you don't remember
5. If someone from the financial institution you deal with
asks for personal information
which you know that they already have
in their database.
There are many more, of course, and we'll review them and how to
avoid being duped in further postings.
A recent unpleasant experience with a fake virus removal software
program named MS Antivirus 2008 re-emphasized the cleverness of the cyber
crooks lurking in wait for unsuspecting Internet users.
It appeared on one of the computers in our office that had access to
the internet and displayed a very official looking webpage offering
a system scan and removal tools for any virus it might find (and
there were at
least a dozen 'links' that could be clicked).
With tested and reliable
anti-virus programs already on the machine, it wasn't necessary to
download an un-invited program, so the little Red X in the upper
corner was clicked... to no avail. It was impossible to delete
the program through normal methods.
MSAntivirus (MS Antivirus) the latest fake spyware removal
program. Once installed, it starts displaying popup warnings and
system alerts that look similar to regular Windows messages trying
trick the user into buying a full version of this program in order
to remove reported threats.
This is the latest rogue antispyware product from the
Antivirus XP 2008 family - with a severity rating of 8 out of 10,
and is suspected to originate in Russia.
It installs an computers through the Zlob.Trojan or through browser
MS Antivirus 2008 will load on every operational system at
startup and display a large number of unwanted pop-up
advertisements, including the ones with fake security notifications
that a user's computer is infected with different malware.
Because it can recreate itself, MS Antivirus 2008 can be
difficult to remove manually, but
removal help is available online. Here are two sites that offer free
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 STINGER.
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 nearly 200 recent viruses. It's FREE
to download fromMcAfee
Sep 12, 2008 It Might take
More than Defragging to Speed Up
I got a big nudge from one of my
site visitors who contacted me with a question about increasing the
speed of his computer. He wanted to know what to do to make it work
His question reminded me that it was time to optimize the speed of
my own computer, and ...this message is to remind you to that you
might be ready to do the same.
Here's what I told him (it's how I speed up my machines).
Step by step -
1 Take a look at the Add/Remove utility on the Control
Panel page. There could be a few programs listed there that you
don't use, or need anymore. Bite the bullet and remove them to free
up disk space and resources.
2. Clean out your Cookies and Temp files. Much of it is just
clutter that accumulates from regular use. CCleaner is a
great Free utility that will do the job. (Free download at
www.ccleaner.com/download )Comes with easy to follow
3. Turn Off Windows Indexing Service to Free Up System
Resources. To turn off the Indexing service, follow these steps:
A. Double-click My Computer, point to Explorer Bar on the View
menu, and then
B. Click Change preferences, and then click Without Indexing
C. Click No, do not enable Indexing Service, and then click
4. Turn Off System Sounds to Free Up System Resources. By
Default Windows XP has sounds assigned to many actions on your PC.
If you disable these you can be sure no PC performance is lost due
to missing sounds.
5. The most important, and something you should do regularly (like
each month) - DEFRAGMENT Windows
Your Windows Defragmentation utility will defragment your hard drive
and organize all the files on it. It will be easier for your hard
disk to find them and in turn execute them faster.
Start with Drive C, then consider doing the same for Drive D and any
other file storage partitions you may have.
Here are three important things to keep in mind before running
1. Make sure you remove unused programs and run CCleaner before you run defrag
dont realign unnecessary files on your hard
2. Try to keep the percentage of free space over 15% on the
disk you are going to
defrag this enables Disk Defragmenter
to complete its job with the best results.
3. Defraging takes time - sometimes a lot, so be prepared to
wait, but it's more than
worth the inconvenience.
And a note of caution. If these steps don't improve your system
performance, you might have a more serious problem with a malware
Be sure your Operating System has all of the latest updates, your
Firewall is enabled, and your virus and spyware protection is up to
date, then run the appropriate scans.
October 1, 2008How Did
You Teach Your Children To Be Safe
When They Were learning to Surf the Internet?
We'd love to learn how you taught your kids to
be cautious and careful and avoid the threats from online scammers
and pedophiles when they were learning to explore the "web".
CLICK HERE to
Share your Experiences and learn how other parents
helped their kids to safety - free, of course
As parents, grandparents and guardians, we
are reminded constantly to help our children enjoy the pleasures and
excitement of the Internet in safety.
My own grandchildren learned how to boot up their family
computers at a very early age. For the youngest of
them, it was simply a matter of watching their older sisters and brothers as
they chatted online with their friends, worked on their school lessons, and
explored the mysteries of the cyber universe.
parents recognize that the Internet provides an exciting and
learning experiences for their children. Teaching online safety, and
learning together is a wonderful way for any family to enjoy it.
Your experiences and successes could help a lot of other parents and
CLICK HERE for a
real easy way to Share your Experiences and learn how other parents
helped their kids to safety - free, of course
Thanks for caring, and sharing....Richard
Tags: kids Internet safety
October 1, 2008
Protecting our Kid's
(*)I'm a proud grandparent of 9
precious grandchildren and the last thing in this world that I ever
want to see is someone hurting them.
I'm certain that this
doesn't make me any different than every other parent, grandparent
or child guardian.
What is a bit different, however, is that I have an opportunity to
help other parents and grandparents do something to help protect our
young children from the most heinous people who prey on them
when they're playing on the Internet - the pedophiles and child
predators hiding in the cyberworld.
I do this through my websites and blogs - usually through news
alerts and product announcements. This message is a product
The product is an eBook I just prepared from information I
purchased. I bought it because it seemed so complete, and thorough,
that I believe it will enable all of us to help our kids more easily
understand how serious, and cautious they must be when visiting the
there's a price for this one, but it's only $6.95, and you can
download it from the internet and start using it almost
If you order the eBook and find that it doesn't help you understand,
and explain the threats that these creatures pose, then I'll return
your money. (Within 60 days of your order).
It's not the money, the most important issue here is the safety of
our children, as you'll see when you visit the order page.
Checkout the eBook "How to
Privacy and Security
It's loaded with Vital Security Tools and Tips to Secure Your
Computers and Guard Against Internet Fraud and Identity Theft.
To make it easily affordable to the lesser experienced Beginners and
Senior Internet Users, and to provide a greater opportunity
for them to strengthen their own security defenses at a price that
nearly everyone can afford -
I cut the list price by 61 percent from $17.95 to only $7.00!
And to make it available to even more of the internet users who can
really benefit from its wealth of security information, free Resale
included that will give you 100 percent of the
profits for each and every copy you sell.
Your profits will go directly and immediately into your own PayPal
Even better, the $7.00 price includes the free bonus eBook - "PC
Security", my Info Guide to Beefing Up Your Personal Computer's
Safety from Malicious Threats, with dozens of easy to apply ideas
and strategies to strengthen your Security Fortress.
It's really important that everyone be aware that Clever Internet
Thieves from all around the world are using very highly
sophisticated and stealthy infiltration schemes to plant trojans,
worms, viruses and other malware in their computers, and could even
be secretly adding any one of us to their botnets.
Even if you are reasonably comfortable when going online, your
family members and friends may not be as experienced as you.
Give them the gift that can save their families and friends
potential hours of grief, plus potential loss of money and identity
to these Internet thieves.
Here's the link to the Security Tips ebook, bonus PC Security ebook
Free Resale Rights
hesitate to express
your views and opinions on my Security Alert Blog and Cyber
Security Alert postings (easily done by clicking on
the highlighted 'COMMENT' |
'TRACKBACK' at each post. Watch for postings on fraud alerts,
virus alerts, worm alerts, Internet Security alerts, security scams,
parental controls, online predators, net security, and more. Be sure to visit our
Firewalls-and-Virus Protection website for even more help
More Free help for People who purchase
from online businesses
and the business who sell to them
The FREE iCop Member and Shopping Mall Desktop Directory
is a listing by business category of all of the hundreds
of i-Cop members who have pledged to meet the rigid
requirements imposed by the Council to maintain the
highest levels of honesty, integrity and respect for
you, the consumer.
You can use it as a guide to resources and assistance
with the full confidence that each member is a
professional in their field.
iCop is the organization for home based and other
businesses that sets the industry standard of business
ethics that every online business should follow!
Please note the iCop member seal on this blog and on my
websites. I'm proud to be a member and I've pledged to
meet the rigid requirements to maintain my good
You can download your
Free copy to your Desktop. Simply clicking on the
desktop icon will then take you right to an always
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And Updated More Frequently by Blogging
A breach in your personal privacy
protection could easily lead to
hackers, online, and offline thieves stealing your identity.
Identity Theft is the
fastest growing crime in America, affecting
approximately 900,000 new victims each year!
More than ever, the information explosion, aided by an
era of easy credit, has led to the expansion of a crime
that feeds on the inability of consumers to control who
has access to sensitive information and how it is
Can we fight back? Yes! One of the best ways is to be
informed of the tricks and ploys used by Identity Theft criminals
and to understand how they attack.
Forewarned is Forearmed and There's a lot to know,
The contents of this Free Report
Safe Credit Card Practices
Why reveal your Social Security number?
Common Sense Things to avoid
What you must do if the Worst Happens- with the telephone numbers to call and the
organizations to contact.
Just Click a button to add to your
favorite RSS feed
I'd like to hear from you.
Your comments are really appreciated. Try to avoid anything inappropriate (hateful, abusive,
explicit, pornography, etc.), they'll be deleted before posting.
Please stick to the theme of "Security Awareness and Safety on the
Internet'. Your email address will never be displayed and will not
be shared with third parties.
... Richard Rossbauer
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