You Can’t Be Too Rich, Too Thin, or Too Careful

More and more, I realize you really can’t be too careful.

I got an email this morning, looking like it was from PayPal, telling me to login to my account and update my information. I have enough experience to know what to look for before hitting any link, and also to know what kinds of emails to be suspicious of in general, but I also know that a lot of people don’t. I used to think things like the personal images and extra security questions were overkill, but I’ve changed my mind. I’m taking security a lot more seriously now, because some of the tricks the bad guys are pulling are pretty impressive.

I’d bet that people who read this blog (and thanks for reading it; I really like being able to just “think out loud” on my PC and call it working) are pretty careful and knowledgeable too, but I’d also bet that everyone has at least one friend or relative who’d read an email like the one I got today and click that link that looks legitimate. So if you know someone like that, this would be a great time to remind them that emails aren’t necessarily from who they say they’re from. And that links don’t necessarily go to the site in their text.

And now back to figuring out how to get rich and thin.

2 thoughts on “You Can’t Be Too Rich, Too Thin, or Too Careful

  1. Peter

    You know, for those people who will click all links and download anything, maybe they could be directed to a good anti-Spyware program like Spybot or AdAware (and a bunch of others). Perhaps even include some instructions on inoculation and scanning their computer for the programs that are almost certainly present.

    I get a lot of forwarded mail from people – so much that some of it goes straight to the trash. I’ve also been impressed with GMail’s anti-spam filters. They catch a whole lot more of that nonsense on a more reliable basis than Yahoo or Hotmail has managed to do so far. I rarely have to find valid messages in my spam folder or spam in my inbox. That’s a huge help in managing my mail.

    The security information is helpful, but not completely effective. I seem to remember reading that some of the more clever phishers had managed to mimic even some of those checks.

    Now, anyone know how we can make and host a self-installing and running anti-spyware program? :-)

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