Posts tagged internet
With the amount of scam emails that pepper our inboxes every so often, you’d have thought most people would be able to identify them. Sadly, they are getting harder to pick out with a casual glance and there are quite a few people – judging by the users I support – that still can’t identify them.
In order to help remedy this, I decided to give a quick dissection of an email I got today.
At first glance, it might seem legit – it is in the style of some older emails – but a quick look at the first port of call brings up the first doubts. Who is it from?
Would they use an obscure address like that? If an email is coming from a company they’re unlikely to use addresses like "squiffymonkey269" or, in this case "edr_nick". It’s just unprofessional.
*bzzzt* Strike one.
Bad grammar tends to be the hallmark of scam emails, look out for Over Capitalising Words They Want To Emphasise and missed capital letters not to mention sentences that make zero sense! If it reads like a perfect example of Engrish then chances are it’s fake.
If they show a grasp of the English language then read what it is telling you.
Here it’s informing us that they have too many accounts and need to clear them away, but hang on a second the first line states "we’re sending it to everyone" then the end of the sentence claims to be singling out me.. So they’re deleting every account then? Are they trying to drive up Gmail users?
*bzzzzt* Strike two!
And on it continues…
Stunted English and a sudden call for personal details, why not throw in a request for your mothers maiden name (I still can’t believe some web services continue to ask for this!) and your inside leg measurement while you’re at it?!
So you can detect unused accounts? Why the general mailshot then? Also, why isn’t this an automated webpage on the net instead of using an unreliable system like SMTP?
If the scammer is a little smarter than this turd and supplies a web link to enter your details, hover over the link for a few seconds and check out the address it is really sending you to. If it’s an obscure address or ends with an obscure domain tag (.ir instead of .com for example) you can bet it’s either going to be a fake site that will post your details to the scammer or infested with spyware that will attempt to spunk itself all over your system.
Try it out on this example: http://www.hotmail.com/confirm
If it doesn’t provide a little popup telling you the address, check out the bottom of your browser window as it should tell you I’m really sending you to http://all.your.bank.details.are.all.ours .
*bzzzzzzzzzzt* Strike 3, you’re out!
Just remember the following steps:
- Be skeptical of these emails
- Check out who it’s from
- What do they want
- Does any of it makes logical and grammatical sense.
- Keep an eye out for dodgy links
If it smells like BS, it prolly is!
As I returned from the Open Coffee meetup, I found my inbox bursting with rocketboom emails and a message from someone via flickr.
When I checked it out, turns out that one of the pictures I have uploaded to my photostream has been selected for use on schmap.com!
This particular site had slipped by me completely until now, but it appears to be pretty cool. Basically, it’s google maps but with pictures selected from flickr for use in writeups of places of interest. The pics all link back to the persons flickr account.
While you don’t get paid, it is a bit of traffic to your flickr profile that you ordinarily wouldn’t get.. which is kinda cool.
I didn’t even think it was that good a picture! Still, it left a nice feeling that I’m contributing in some way and allowed me to stumble upon a site I hadn’t heard of.
I appologise, I’m 5 days late for this since it happened on the 22nd. Please check out the OneWebDay site for the 2009 event.
For this years OWD I thought I’d cover the 14 or so years that I have been a citizen of the net.
Has it really been 14 years?
More than anything else, the net has really impacted my life and changed the way I do things, the circle of people I interact with and alters my world view more in 1 week than years without it.
Yet, I have to remind you that our great internet is under threat. The freedoms and borderless existance the internet represents has countless countries and corporations scared and concerned.
Through the abuse of technologies such as DPI, web proxies and QoS we are encountering ISPs that will restrict the use and/or bandwidth of specific apps and filters certain dangerous information under the guise of anti-piracy, anti-terrorism and chilld protection campaigns. Yet this is the digital equivelant of burning books (blocking access) and misinformation (altering the data in the stream before it reaches you).
Then we have the assumed – grossly mistakenly – beneign use of DPI in order to extort money out of your privacy monetise their customers in behavioural tracking and analysing in order to serve you ads by scum such as Phorm in the UK and NebuAd in the USA. I recommend everyone reads The Register’s fantastic coverage of this governmental corruption laden scheme. Your jaw will struggle to get up off the floor once you see what is being done under the guise of “improving your net experience”.
Because, in their twisted little minds, the net is such a better place when the adverts are relevant to our interests – ignoring the fact that 99% of people consider ads on the net to either be noise or simply a stopgap measure to fund a cool site until a real revenue stream can be found.
If you happen to visit a site that finds its way onto the government No-No(tm) list then you can expect a knock on your door and your equipment stolen.
Your crime? Reading and learning.
By all means, keep tabs on things but knowledge should never be restricted just because some people might use it to do bad things. This is a very slippery slope that we really shouldn’t tread.
Information should be set free, hopefully the taste of freedom we have gained so far will be strong enough for us to fight for it.
For if we don’t protect it, the greatest development of the modern world will become a sterile, government and corporate sanctioned waste of time.