I just received an email supposedly from Facebook. It said my password has been changed because my password is not safe. When in fact opening the attachment would not safe, as this is a fake email. That prompted me to blog about some things to watch out for and possibly avoid problems. There are all sorts of tactics that they have trying to get information from you or login information.
No company is going to change your password for any reason and another, even bigger one, no one is going to ask you for your password, ever! If they do, a HUGE red flag so be waving in front of your face. Like the Facebook email. Besides it saying they changed my password it also had CC some other variations on my email address. Also the one that they sent it to, Facebook doesn’t even have. Facebook has a lot of users and makes a good target for the scumbags.
Since we are talking about emails. Don’t click on a link (URL) in an email, they can hide the real link. In other words it can show you one thing but take you to another. Always type in the URL into the browser. Example. Say you received an email from your bank. It says there is a problem with your account and they provide a link to go to your account. You click on it and it takes you to the website and you login. Here’s what really happened. It was a fake email and the link you clicked on takes you to a site that looks exactly like your bank’s website but is also fake. Since you logged in they now have your user name and password that they can use on the real website. If you should fall for this, close your browser and open up a new one and type in the URL, login and change your password immediately. Other things to watch out for is all caps or improper sentences. Here’s another one, there are pictures of you naked or at a party or something along those lines and provides a link. Or an email from a friend that just has a link in it or just doesn’t sound like them. There are several viruses out there that will try to spread itself when an infected machine is logged into, say yahoo mail and starts sending out email to your contacts making it look like it’s from you. I’m not even going to get starting about attachments. Tiny or short urls, like http://bit.ly/hvJ2F9, are good for twitter since they are short but bad because you have no idea of where it’s taking you.
You go to a website and all of a sudden a window pops up saying you have a virus and to do a scan. If you click yes or scan it will then actually give you a virus and it’s a pain to remove it. You should know what your virus scanner messages looks like. If it catches one it will take care of it and won’t ask you to scan your computer.
You go to watch a video on a website and just before it begins it tells you that you need a newer version of Flash player. Do not click on the link to install it. First off, you should keep up with the latest version of software specially flash since they have more security holes than a sieve. If you believe that you might not have the latest then open a new browser window and search for adobe flash player update website and do the update yourself. If you have the latest flash player then get away from that website asap because they are trying to infect you.
As always. You don’t get something for nothing. If it’s sounds too good to be true then it probably is.