Commentary

Best to think before you click, even for Olympics

Karen McDowell is an analyst for the Information Security Policy and Records Office at the University of Virginia, and she warns the readers of UVaToday about the flood of scams during the Olympics.

She reports 143 scams hit the air waves well before the opening day of the Olympics.

While athletes, their friends, their fans, and those game spectators are relaxing and enjoying the competitions, hackers, con artist, and phishers are busy seeking ways to fool the general public into sending them personal data, money or no telling what else.

This situation gets worse. Phony websites are created and links are offered supposedly for quick access into the internet. In reality you are connected to a criminal somewhere in the world.

More than 70 phony websites were detected before the start of the Olympics. Those using the links may find that some spyware entered their computers.

McDowell explains: “Phishers create Olympic-themed messages and websites as bait and wait for the unsuspecting person to click on whatever link they provide. They may attempt to collect personal information like names, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers or login credentials, and/or install malware for exploitation at a later date. Phishers can also infect the computer with a keylogger, which records every keystroke the computer user makes, then sends this information to unknown third parties, where it is mined and sold to the highest bidder.” McDowell also warns not to rely on anti-virus programs to totally protect computers from damaging infections. The human is the weakest link in this chain of protection against computer invaders.

It’s not a good idea to respond to any unsolicited e-mail links or website addresses.

You can check the authenticity of links and websites by entering information into your search engine.

It is much more secure to have a search engine find accurate information. It is not a good idea to respond to unsolicited emails. You are asking for major problems when you do.

Www.London2012.com is the official website of the Olympics. You can find a ticket checker and other information that may answer questions you may have. The purchase of Olympic tickets provided bait for con artists prior to the opening date of the Olympics and is probably being used as bait until the Olympics end.

A reliable news cite for the Olympics is www.olympic.org. Remember 71% of the e-mail traffic is spam.

Also remember it is best to think before you “click”.

No Olympics scams were received in Milam County or maybe it should be said that none have been reported to Milam County TRIAD.

You may find a scam on your computer after the 2012 Olympics have ended.

Now you know what to expect, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when it arrives inside your home. Be careful when you relax.

You are very vulnerable when you crash in a comfort zone.

ted@myalpha1.net


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2012-08-09 digital edition



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