Vol VIII | Section III
from the Bo Alert
Computing Quote of the month:
The Bo Alert
June 2005 Bo Alert Newsletter
"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing." Benjamin Franklin
Windows XP Performance Tips n Tricks
BLCOW HOME PAGE | Browsers | MsOffice 97 & 2000 | Site Search | Windows
Phishing; The Bo's Eye View
Recent attacks on credit card companies, or their vendors, concerning the theft of personal information has caused us to update our warnings on certain security risks. This presents us with a severe problem. If we cannot trust those with whom we do business to protect our privacy and personal information, what can we do? The obvious answer is to be forearmed and forewarned. I know you are sick to death of hearing it from us, but Knowledge is power!
The simple theft of a Social Security card number is more then enough for a black hat to steal your identity. We all know about the problems of identity theft. It has been in the news add-nausium. We also all know how difficult it is to clear your good name. To coin a phrase, "He who steals my purse steels trash. But he who steels my good name steels all that I am. It enriches him not and makes me exceedingly poor".
Unless you have been living under a rock, then you have to know about these thefts. See this about that in this newsletter.
We have said it before, which is why we are saying it again,
"Make sure the site you are visiting is who they say they are"!
For ways to tell if a site URL is real or faked, please see: Phishing and ways to identify a fake site.
See also this C|Net.com
Consumers, retailers grapple with data theft
Increase in fraud feared as the credit card industry recovers from a mega-heist.
Wed Jun 22 04:00:00 PDT 2005 | Read Full Story
Because Family Matters:
When 'digital bullying' goes too far
Always-on gadgets give kids unlimited access to parents and friends--and expose them to 'round-the-clock harassment.
Image: Stopping bullying
C|Net.com | Read Full Story
Summer Begins (Surfing the Net with Kids)
June 20, 2005 School's out! Summer sunshine is here. But don't leave the house without your sunglasses, brimmed hat, and sunscreen. Why bother? Because despite the sun's beneficial effects on our mood, even a small amount of daily exposure can lead to skin damage and cancer. Learn more with these five best-bet sites for summer safety....http://www.surfnetkids.com/sunscreen.htm
The largest security breach to date occurred late last week when 14 million MasterCard and 22 million Visa credit card numbers were hacked. Up to 40 million credit card users may now be at risk of fraud from their MasterCard, Visa and other credit cards.
The security breach took place at CardSystems Solutions, a third-party transaction processor for merchants and financial institutions.
It appears that the breach was caused by a hacker who gained access to Card Systems' database and then installed a virus-like script that captured customer data. The F.B.I. is investigating the security breach.
According to MasterCard, names, credit card numbers, expirations dates and the three or four digit credit card security codes were stolen. Social Security numbers, birth dates or other highly sensitive personal data were not part of the security breach.
MasterCard said that only 68,000 of the 13.9 million MasterCard holders were at "a higher level of risk."
MasterCard, as well as some other credit card providers, have zero-liability policies, so consumers who find unauthorized charges made on their credit cards will not be responsible for paying for the charges.
This security breach is simply the latest, albeit the largest, in a long line of breaches reported this year. Security breaches or lost computer tapes have been reported this year by ChoicePoint, LexisNexis, Citigroup, Bank of America, Stanford University, United Parcel Service, and many others.
Since there have been a relentless string of security breaches -- both online and offline -- this year, we offer 7 specific suggestions of things you can do to help protect yourself from credit card fraud and identity theft taken from ScamBusters.org:
Typically, controlled payment numbers expire after one use (although their use can be extended for repeating monthly bills). These substitute numbers link back to your credit card number without you ever having to reveal your actual credit card number when you shop.
The benefit is that if the substitute credit card number is stolen, such as in this case of the 40 million MasterCard and other credit card numbers, the substitute number would be worthless and your real credit card number would not be compromised.
Currently, we know of two credit card issuers who offer this service: Citibank and Discover Financial Services. MBNA Corp. and others may also offer this service (however, we could not find a public link).
For more info, visit:
Citibank (Virtual Account Numbers)
Discover Card (Discover Deskshop)
|Harm on the Pharm||There is more to these scams, and they are getting more and more sophisticated|
|New Windows XP tips-n-tricks Content on BLCOW|
|New Windows XP Troubleshooting Tips on BLCOW|
|New Microsoft Word Tips-n-Tricks on BLCOW||
|New Microsoft Excel Tips-n-Tricks on BLCOW|
|New Microsoft Power Point Tips-n-Tricks on BLCOW|
|Off Site Help & Info:||
|Cleanliness is next to impossible with a keyboard. Here is a tip to clean out the grime||Use
Everybody needs to clean their PCs sometimes. They get layered with dust and grime just like anything else. Compressed air in a can is one of the most useful tools you can have for performing this necessary task. By using the included straw, you can finely direct the air into places where it is most needed. Clean your keyboard by turning it sideways (side down) over a trash can or some other place where dust can fall, and then blow it out with the compressed air. Ensure that you get in between the keys because a lot of stuff falls in between the keys and can even hamper complete contact of the keys (hence unworking keys). You also want to remove your case cover and blow out the fan blades and other surfaces. Make sure you don't blow the air right onto your PC's innards up close. Give a little bit of distance between the computer and the end of the straw.
Don't have a can of compressed air? How come? Okay, we at BLCOW are all about being, shall we say, frugal? Okay, okay, we're cheap! If you need to clean out some layered dust, and who doesn't unless you are involved in a dust bunny farm, take a clean dry straw and lightly blow the dirt away. Hey, if nothing else it will take your breath away.
Warring: If you begin to feel light headed, its a cheap buzzzzzz
Harm on the Pharm
by Steve Fox
The Buzz: By now, we are all too familiar with phishing attacks, those phony e-mail messages that direct users to spoofed sites in an attempt to steal passwords and account information. Well, pharming is like phishing with a really big net--redirecting users even though they have typed a legit URL into their browser. Pharmers inject malicious code into a PC or even a DNS server on the Net. Then if you type a URL like the address of your bank, your compromised machine or server may redirect you to a bogus site designed to install spyware or steal info. Pharming attacks on DNS servers (called DNS-cache poisoning) are uncommon, according to Shawn Eldridge, chair of the Trusted Electronic Communications Forum, but "the greater concern is pharming of individual computers with Trojan [horses] and worms." Users who innocently open an e-mail attachment can easily infect their machine with such malware, which can then plant the seeds of its nefarious pharm work.
Bottom Line: Never open an attachment from someone you don't know. Always keep your antivirus software up-to-date. And floss regularly.
Here is a freebee:
Get help identifying and removing malicious software (including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom) from your computer.
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