October 11, 2013
According to the Norton Cyber Crime Report of 2011, 431 million adults worldwide were victims of cyber crime. The total cost of those crimes amounted to some $114 billion.
October is Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety Month. It is of the utmost importance to be responsible and diligent in internet use, and to protect yourself and your family while online.
Please see the following terms and tips from Melissa Shepard, Chief Information Officer for Harrison County Schools.
(1) Phishing – When an email is received from what seems to be a real business that asks for personal information. These are usually from people trying to steal your information for illegal reasons. They are “fishing” for information.
(2) Flaming – Sending a mean or hurtful email
(3) Social Networking – Communicating and sharing information between two or more individuals on an online community.
(4) Spambot – Used to collect email addresses for the future use of spamming. Spambots are also capable of automatically posting spam (irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients) to guest books. One way to receive less spam is to not post your email address on a website, but instead spell it out like this: info-at-netlingo-dot-com, that way the spambot can’t pick up the usual @ and .com formula.
(5) Identity Theft – Occurs when someone steals or otherwise obtains and uses another person’s personal information, pretends to be that person online, and logs into that person’s accounts.
(6) Chain Emails – Emails that ask the recipient to forward the email on to multiple people. Many chain letter emails are hoaxes, and are often considered to be a security and privacy risk. They are considered spam.
(1) Delete any emails from people or companies that you don’t know. Do not forward these. If you receive an email asking for your private information, such as credit cared numbers, birth dates, social security numbers, bank account info, etc., do not fill these out. Also, do not send an email asking to be removed from the email list. This only assures the sender that they have reached an active email account. Delete immediately.
(2) If you receive an email that is strange, mean, or upsetting to you, do not respond. Email messages are very difficult to interpret. People have a tendency to “read between the lines,” and most of the time there is really nothing between the lines. Think before sending an email that could be interpreted the wrong way. Sometimes the spoken word is better than the typed word. Once typed and sent, the message cannot be erased.
(3) Be very selective in what you post on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Remember that once you post the information and it has been read or even shard by others, it cannot be erased.
(4) Be careful when someone offers you something for nothing, such as gifts or money. Remember, any offer that is “too good to be true” probably is. Don’t ever accept a gift or an offer that involves having someone visit your house.
(5) Never choose for your computer to “remember” your passwords for your online accounts, including email. If your computer remembers these for you, then others, including hackers, will have no problem accessing your accounts and could steal your information to use in various ways, such as identity theft. If you currently have saved passwords on your computer, these can be cleared in your browser privacy settings.
(6) Do not send chain letters to others through email. No chain emails are legitimate. Credible companies do not conduct their marketing in such a haphazard fashion. Sending them to 10 friends cannot bring you fortune or cause bad luck, and they will not make you rich.