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admin2 On March - 9 - 2011

online data backup

My New Year’s resolution for 2011 is to get through the entire year without falling for any Internet scams. It is becoming harder to avoid them as they are becoming more and more sophisticated. This is especially true of phishing scams. Every one of us has to be aware and cautious about our privacy and security on the Internet. Just one mistake, just one click can lead us into a costly and time-consuming quagmire.

Many scammers have grabbed up URLs that are a typo away from the legitimate site that people intend to visit. These are called typosquatting sites, and there are millions of them.

These sites mimic the look of the genuine site, so the unaware visitors key in their information without hesitation when prompted to do so.

For instance, say you want to visit your online banking site, but type it in incorrectly. Odds are a site that looks like your banking site will appear. If you are unaware that you had typed the URL incorrectly, you would key in your username and password as per usual which is exactly what the scammers want. In an instant your online banking accounts are open to the criminals. This is why it is so very important to have different passwords for different online accounts.

The scam doesn’t have to be a banking site. There are typosquatting sites impersonating as Facebook as well. As soon as the scammers have your username and password, they can steal your Facebook identity. Once they change your password you are helpless to stop them.

In your name they can solicit your friends for money. They can find out which of your friends are holidaying away from home, leaving their house and belongings vulnerable to theft. There are criminal elements that would use such information.  They can also send your friends links to sites that would open their computers to hackers and viruses.

I have resolved to be cautious, not only in the sites I visit but also with links sent to me by my friends. As one of my friends has suggested, “Trust but verify.” I trust my friends, but will hereafter verify that unexpected or unusual messages purporting to be from them are indeed from them.

I shall also resolve to change my passwords every few weeks. It pays to play it safe with your security and your privacy.

And, as usual, I continue to resolve to use online data storage to keep all of my treasured and irreplaceable computer files. In the event that something happens to my computer, be it theft, viruses, hackers or it just dies, my valuable data will not be lost.

Keep safe this year, and keep your identity safe as well. As my friend also said, “Think before you click the link.”

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