Posts Tagged ‘scams’

Christmas Screensavers

Monday, December 14th, 2009

This time of year many people download Christmas screen savers, including the favorites with snow falling and a nice warm fireplace near the Christmas tree with lights twinkling. Well just be warned, before you download that ‘cute’ screensaver, know this, bad things can be wrapped in pretty packages. Often these screen savers or other ‘cute’ little applications are just a wrapper for gaining access to your computer, allowing for spyware and even trojans and viruses to be installed. Back in college I remember as I was working for the SPC (Student Provided Computer) service on campus, I made extra money during the holiday season, because I had to clean computers after screen savers where downloaded.

How do you avoid this? Well first don’t download that cute screen saver. Do you really need it? If you are the one that answered yes to that question then be prepared to read all the fine print. Even after you are done reading all the fine print, know that you computer still may not be safe.

Now I’m not going to preach doom and gloom to your computer, but just be aware of the malicious attacks that can be done through the innocence of downloading a ‘cute’ screensaver.

Online Promotion Scams

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Greg Sandoval for CNET posted a scary article this morning. Check it out below.

Buy.com, Orbitz linked to controversial marketers

Wow, I’ve used Orbitz before. Now before you go and get all paranoid about using the internet, let’s review some common sense steps to take when purchasing online.

First, make sure the website you are using has a secure connection to process your credit card (https:) and usually there is a marking with a logo saying that the security is verified.
However, in the article you read above, this wouldn’t help you any, because your information was securely collected, but then sold to another company. It was once a common practice that if you are signing up for something you are safe as long as you don’t provide your credit card information. That is not the case anymore. You need to be extra cautious now when you use your email address to sign up for something.

Also make sure you keep on top of your finances and credit card transactions! A company I use and highly recommend is Mint.com. Mint.com will compile all of your credit cards and bank account information into one easy to use location. They will also send you alerts by e-mail or text when you have done anything unusual, or when you have a low balance, ect. One of the really nice features of Mint.com is that it will after a couple months develop a recommended budget for you.