Spoofs and Rip-Offs: Dude, Where’s My Email?

Your E-Bay account has been inactive and you need to verify your account before it is closed. Or try this one: There has been a security alert regarding your account activity and we need you to verify your account information to prevent unauthorized access. Well, the access you are authorizing is just the kind you do not want to give out over the Internet or in an E-mail.

E-mail rip offs are getting worse and the biggest problem is we don’t know what to believe. Well, help is here in the form of don’t trust anyone. That famous saying that all spies here just before their best friends tells them to trust them. When it comes to email and your privacy and security you should do just that “trust no one”.

Your email is a window to the world, in both directions. Someone can see what your doing if you go through an email using the links there. A link looks like this: http://associatedcontent.com/ . This link is to the regular home page of Associated Content, the home page where this article is. It doesn’t take very much tech savvy to hide the words and imbed other ones and still have the link work. Try this, click here and see if you go to the same place. My web site . It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how to just change what you see and what you get when you click on the link. Yes when you move your cursor over the link I have shown it will say the website but you can change that.

Now can you imagine if I make my own site and us my own server to have that site show up on the web. And I got your account name and password. I could get all kinds of things like buy stuff using your account on E bay or use your information from Pay Pal to purchase things and send them somewhere that you don’t know about. Or worse yet use that information to open other accounts in your name. That’s right, identity theft.

The thing you have to remember is to not trust any E-mail, regardless of the severity or what is in it, they can’t get you to do anything you don’t want to. So don’t let them get the upper hand.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS use the regular Internet sites and not links to log into your accounts, regardless of where they are or what they tell you. And read the security E-mails that they actually do send you. The ones that say they will never ever ask you for your account information. E bay, PayPal and any other real and legitimate web based company or banking institution will never ask you about your accounts in an E-mail or even on the phone. If they want to verify your information they already have it. They do not need to ask you about it. They are there and are just a click away to see your account and any information that they could possibly want in it. They do not need your account name or password, it is hidden to them but they can see any other information about your account that they could possibly want to see. That is as it should be.

There are several tricks that some crooks try, one of these is to have a slight difference on the link like a front slash instead of a back slash, \ instead of /. You should not trust any links regardless of what the E-mail says, to quote E bay’s Security center:

“Do not click on a link embedded within any potentially suspicious email, especially if the email requests personal information. Instead, try starting a new Internet session with your browser, typing the Web address of the link into the address bar, and pressing ‘Enter’ to be sure you are directed to a legitimate Web site. “

This is from their web site and you can see all the web based security that they talk about at their sites security center at Ebay.com.

There are some other problems in E-mail that I and many others have been experiencing lately. Some of these are things like E-mails that give advice that don’t make much sense, till you get the E-mail that offers the thing the first couple of E-mails didn’t. I mean the stock market emails that you may have been getting. Many of these don’t have a link in them or refer you to any web site, they just tell you about these great stock market tips and you are supposed to believe them. Don’t. They are a way that some people are trying to get into your computer and not have you know about it. Some of these E-mails but not all of them will have programs attached to them known as Trojans, but the program that copies them have broken down and not attached the Trojan or your computer has blocked them with a program of it’s own to stop this sort of thing.

This type of thing is happening often as more programs are coming out to block and ruin the Trojans that are often attached to these E-mails that many people don’t even know their computer is sending out. A Trojan will do just that, copy the harmful part that will spy on an unprotected computer and send out a copy of itself to another computer that is in the address book of the first computer.

You should purchase and use a good virus, spyware and security protection program. You cannot just log onto the Internet and hope you don’t get viruses, Trojans or spyware. You need to protect yourself with programs and firewalls, and the knowledge to back that up. Do not answer E-mails through their links if they ask you for any information. Go to the web through your regular favorites bookmark and look at your account to see if they want anything from you. Do not trust any E-mails no matter what, do not trust the links in them to go to any site. If you want to look at your account and find out if anything is going on with an E bay , PayPal or bank account go to that account through your regular favorites that are saved, or through the web site by typing in the name of the site in your address bar and going to the site. This way you will not be going to a fraudulent site and giving out your personal information.

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