Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New year, old spam

After a break of two weeks the Paypal Phishing expedition is back. Three very obvious scams in my Yahoo inbox. That and the variations of the Nigerian scam is back in full force with six today. Again a few tips:
  • Never click on a link in a note that purports to be from your bank, insurance company, ISP or just about anyone else asking you to re-enter your personal information again. These companies won't ask you do do this and even if they do it is much safer for you to open your browser and go to the site yourself.
  • If a 'financial opportunity' sounds too good to be true it probably is. Many of these people are playing on our greed.
  • If a company is asking for your email address to register use a throw-away id and never use your main personal email address. I use Hotmail and Yahoo for this and my personal box does not get the volume of spam that I used to get.
If you use Windows:
  • Make sure that your system is up-to-date. Use the Windows update facility.
  • Get a router with a basic firewall. Make the job of the crackers difficult.
  • Get firewall software and keep it up-to-date.
  • Get virus scan software and kep it up-to-date.
If you use Linux:
  • Make sure that your system is up-to-date. Use whatever facility your distro has to install updates. Just because we are using Linux does not mean you don't have to patch your system.
  • Get a router with a basic firewall. Same as windows.
  • If your distro comes with IPTABLES or firewall software use it. Why make the job of a cracker any easier.
  • As for virus scanner that is up to you. I run one as my SAMBA share is used by the kids and they use Windows. This allows me to check the directory even if I am not affected by the virus/trojan.

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