Security: There are bad guys out there!

Dastardly VillainThere are some nasty bugs and villains out in the wild so we always have to be vigilant. Needless to say keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware up-to-date. Most viruses get downloaded via one of two means:

  • Clicking on links in emails
  • Basic phishing scams

However, you might also get a bug if the website you go to has been hacked and a virus link has been added.

Clicking on Links in Emails

If you ever get an email that looks something like…


Hi! Saw this link the other day and immediately thought about you

Check it out.



It’s suspicious because…first of all, it’s from someone you have not talked to in three years…second, it has no personal information in it whatsoever. It didn’t say ‘Hey, haven’t seen you since the 4th of July picnic’ or ‘Are you still dating that ugly guy with the moustache?’

DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK!!! Hover your mouse over it and look at the status bar at the bottom and you’ll probably see something like…

These emails normally follow the same format:

  • One line comment
  • The link
  • One line comment

The reason you got this is because your friend’s email has been hacked and their contact list compromised. You might pick up the phone and call to let them know.

Phishing Scams

So…you get an email from American Express saying you need to change your password because there’s been a security breach. ‘Click on this link and enter your Social Security Number, Date of Birth, your login ID, and your password’. It’s official looking…has all the right words and pictures.

Not doing it! This is suspicious because 1) you don’t have an American Express card and 2) your credit card companies will never ask you this stuff unsolicited.

NEVER EVER GIVE OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION IN AN UNSOLICITED EMAIL. Go to the company’s official website and transact business there. Also, make sure the link is a secure link (the kind with ‘https’ at the beginning)

Oh, I should also mention that there is no Nigerian prince that needs you to launder money for him. Your chances are better with PowerBall.