Contents

Being hacked or being cracked makes little difference to those on the receiving end. Understandably, their first impulses are to get mad and want to vent. The Cyberiter's contention is that, most of the time, they're lashing out in the wrong direction. After all, crooks are crooks; that's their job. Prevention is your job, so know the fundamentals of diligence.

Phishing with a Net

Phishing with a NetWhen geeks gave us the Internet and the means to use it, they also gave us a new segment of vocabulary ...I've often thought it a shame that a few of them didn't make their way to a campus literature or marketing department and see if a student of poetry or sizzle could assist them in assigning names to their innovations. For example, did the manual cursor operator have to be called a 'mouse?'Geeks have overtaken sports-speakers when it comes to coining bad phrases. I've never understood why basketball types say a player 'kicks out' a ball to a teammate on the perimeter when his feet never touch it. Worse yet, I've always wondered if a gridiron football player would really want to dive on the ball if the carrier truly 'coughed it up!' That bit of literal imagery is more revulsive than handling a mouse. Do these guys really think about what they're saying?There is one instance, though, where the geeks thought it through and got it right. 'Phishing' is a perfect connotation for cyber-cons who troll for prey.The word's spelling distinguishes this nefarious activity from a sporting endeavor, but it's still a game. The definition that's been developed for it is "a technique used to gain personal information for purposes of identity theft, using fraudulent e-mail messages that appear to come from legitimate businesses. These authentic-looking messages are designed to fool recipients into divulging personal data such as account numbers and passwords, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers."Another term that alludes to the emotive consequences of cyberobbery is the perjorative sense of 'hacker.' That bit of etymology seems to be a work in progress. The accepted definition refers to "individuals who gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data." However, the added qualifier is, "Hackers, themselves, maintain that the proper term for such individuals is cracker."Being hacked or being cracked makes little difference to those on the receiving end. They just know they've been had. Understandably, their first impulses are to get mad and want to vent. My contention is that, most of the time, they're lashing out in the wrong direction. After all, crooks are crooks; that's their job and they're out there in numbers. That's not going to change anytime soon.These victims need to take a hard look at themselves.The economics of law enforcement --- in cyberspace or elsewhere --- limits what can be investigated and prosecuted. Thus, smart spoofers often keep their 'take' per scam campaign at levels sufficiently low that the cost of prosecuting them is not viable. Then, they change their coordinates, plus their identities, and do it again.So, obviously, the most important factor in cyber-diligence is self-precaution. Most steps are basic, as evidenced by the checklist on the USA government's Federal Trade Commission website:"If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply. And dont click on the link in the message, either. Legitimate companies dont ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization mentioned in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the companys correct Web address yourself. In any case, dont cut and paste the link from the message into your Internet browser phishers can make links look like they go to one place, but that actually send you to a different site."Use anti-virus software and a firewall, and keep them up to date. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge."Anti-virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files. Anti-virus software scans incoming communications for troublesome files. Look for anti-virus software that recognizes current viruses as well as older ones; that can effectively reverse the damage; and that updates automatically."A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. Its especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection. Operating systems (like Windows or Linux) or browsers (like Internet Explorer or Netscape) also may offer free software 'patches' to close holes in the system that hackers or phishers could exploit."Dont email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organizations website, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browsers status bar or a URL for a website that begins 'https:' (the 's' stands for 'secure'). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons."Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances."Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computers security."Forward spam that is phishing for information to spam@uce.gov and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing email. Most organizations have information on their websites about where to report problems."If you believe youve been scammed, file your complaint at ftc.gov, and then visit the FTCs Identity Theft website at www.consumer.gov/idtheft. Victims of phishing can become victims of identity theft. While you can't entirely control whether you will become a victim of identity theft, you can take some steps to minimize your risk. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, these new accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You may catch an incident early if you order a free copy of your credit report periodically from any of the three major credit bureaus."If you use e-currency or e-payment services, be aware that they are usually not liable for any of your losses if you've been hacked or cracked due to identity-theft issues. All reputable services have support divisions that investigate any complaints of spoofing --- for example, Paypal asks you to mail them at spoof@paypal.com if you receive a suspicious message using their name --- and if anyone is going to pursue, or at least keep on file, complaints of any amount, it will be them.Virtually all e-currency services offer options of 'virtual' keyboards for logging in to accounts. They may be a bother, but they are very effective at adding a formidable obstacle for cyber-invasion. Then, whether or not you took this step to access your account, make sure you take the time to actually log out of your account, as opposed to merely clicking away to your next site.I note that the Longer Life site has two very good preventive products as sponsors, Kaspersky Labs and Identity Guard. They are first-class products and well worth your while to consider.This stuff doesn't take long to research or to implement and you don't have to be a geek to do it. You don't even have to know their their terminology. Instead, when you're done, you can confidently refer to a familiar term in both sports and banking:Safe.

Myspace Layouts Say Everything About Your Profile

Myspace Layouts Say Everything About Your Profile

You have a profile on MySpace, and you need to make it look unique. So what do you do about it? You will have the options of using MySpace layouts to speak a lot about yourself. This will help you customize the profiles a great deal. You do not need to say much about yourself as well. All you need to do is pick a good layout and use it on the profile.If you choose the right MySpace layouts, it will be immediately known that you are taking effort to talk about yourself. This is very important. This will also cause a great deal of difference with the profile look and feel. Your profile will get you a lot of new friends if you are customizing it very well. Images will speak a lot about the profile, and thus will gather a lot of new contacts.People are always on the lookout for new friends and new contacts, as they are there on the site for this very purpose. Thus it is important to use the right images with the layouts. Many people may overlook the profile if the right MySpace layouts are not used. This is extremely important, and you should not be lazy to customize the profile.Whatever your interests are, you can concentrate on such images. By picking the right layouts, you will also be able to talk instantly about your interests. This will matter a great deal, as sometimes people may just overlook the content, and they may look at the profile pictures alone. If the images are very interesting, then immediately you will be able to get new visitors.The use of the right and unique MySpace layouts will help a great deal and this will only help the other users understand what you are all about. You do not have to be very explicit about the content as well, as users will immediately understand your interests with the profile. This will create a great deal of mileage for your profile. By using unique layouts, you will be able to prove that you are very interested in presenting yourself well. This is enough for others to know that you are keen on making new friends. This is also very important because you are on the site for the purpose of networking. When you use the right images, the groups can be formed easily as well.This will include the use of pictures of pets if you are a pet lover, and the picture of an actor etc. Since your profile will get a new look altogether with the use of the layouts, it is imperative that you use them. If you do not make use of them, all the people who look at your profile will s imply look away and keep moving to other profiles.

Electrical Discharge Machine Buying Tips

Electrical Discharge Machine Buying Tips

Electrical Discharge Machining or EDM is electrical equipment or a machining method that is used for hard metallic materials. It is primarily used on hard metals that cannot be processed by traditional methods and techniques. Electrical Discharge Machining, however, only works with metallic objects that are electrically conductive. EDM can cut small unusual shaped angles, complex curves and outlines in numerous types of extremely hard steels and exotic metals like titanium and carbide just to name a few.1. How It WorksSometime referred to as spark machining or spark eroding. Electrical discharge machining is a method of removing material by a series of rapidly recurring electric discharges between the cutting tool and the work piece, in the presence of an energetic electrical field. The EDM equipment is guided very close along the desired path but it does not touch the metallic piece. Instead the sparks produce a series of micro-crates on the metallic piece and remove materials along the desired path by melting and vaporizing them. The wasted particles then are washed away by the continuous flushing of dielectric fluid.2. Choose Your Type Of MachineFirst you should specify what kind of Electrical Discharge machine you are going to utilize for there are two types of Electrical discharge machining equipment on the market today. The wire and the probe or die sinker Electronic Discharge Machine. If your company is into processing complex geometric shapes then the probe or die sinker EDM is the tool that you should use and buy. This kind of Electrical Discharge Machining tool uses a machine graphite or copper electrode to erode the desired shape into the metallic materials. Alternatively, if your company is more into assembly part cutting then the wire EDM is the best machining method to be used. In a wire EDM a hole must be first drilled into the material then a wire will be fed through it to cut the desired shapes.3. Scale Of ProductionThe next thing to think about is the scale of production that your company will be manufacturing. If it is on a large scale production then you should think of buying bigger Electrical discharge machining Equipments. There are selling companies that give out discount if you will be purchasing a large amount of EMD tools. Of course, if your company is into small amounts of production and will be utilizing EDM tools on a one time usage basis only, then you can just have your metallic pieces cut-out by EDM companies. It is much cheaper to just pay for the service charge than purchasing your own Electrical discharge machining Tools.4. Ask Yourself: - What kind of products will I be producing?- How many products will I be producing?- Do I have the right amount of money and resources to fabricate this product?5. Getting The Best DealYou can find numerous companies that sell different kinds of Electrical discharge machining tools on the internet. So before going to the nearest EDM stores in your locality, why not check out the internet first, it could save you time, money and the hassle of driving out in the city. And with the tight competition of online companies you can even find a discounted price for new EDM equipments online. There are also e-commerce sites that offer second hand and fully refurbished electrical discharge machining tools on the internet. So if you are having financial issues but really need to buy one, second hand EMD equipment may work fine for you.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Copyright 2006 Francesca BlackSome law-enforcement authorities call identity theft the fastest growing crime across the country right now. In fact, "identity theft" is the most called-about subject on the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse's telephone hotline. Most victims don't even know how the perpetrators got their personal information.Such fraud may account for as much as 25% of all credit card-fraud losses each year. Not surprisingly 49% of the victims, who have had their identities stolen, stated that they do not feel they know how to adequately protect themselves from this crime.What Steps Can you Take to Avoid Identity Theft?1. Credit ReportOrder your credit report each year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Check each credit report carefully for accuracy and for indications of fraud, such as credit accounts that you did not open; applications for credit that you did not authorize; credit inquiries that you did not initiate; charges that you did not incur; and defaults and delinquencies that you did not cause. Check the identifying information in your credit report to be sure it is accurate pay particular attention to your identifying information like your name, address, and Social Security number. Make sure that you recognize every line of information established in your file.2. Social Security ReportAdditionally order your social security earnings and benefit statement once a year so that you can check to make sure your earnings are correctly recorded. If the numbers are inflated it maybe because someone is using your Social Security number for employment. (Note - The Social Security Administration now automatically mails these statements annually to all eligible workers age 25 and older).3. ChecksCall the payees of any outstanding checks that you are not certain you wrote. The payee is the person or business to whom you wrote the check. Explain to each payee that you are the victim of identity theft and that you have to close your checking account for that reason. Ask each payee to waive (forgive) any late payment or returned check fee. Then send each payee a replacement check drawn on your new account and stop payment on the check that it replaces. It's a good idea to enclose a note with each check explaining why you are sending a replacement check and reminding the payee that the payee has agreed to waive the late payment or returned check fee.4. MailIf you are traveling be sure to stop your mail delivery at the post office, rather than having it accumulate unattended in your mailbox. If you do not receive your credit card statement on time or if you do not receive a new or renewed credit card when you expect it, your mail may have been stolen. If you notice your mail is dwindling, check with the post office to see if they have any change of address posted. If a change of address request has not been filed at the post office check if one has been filed with the creditor. Guard your mail from theft. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office, rather than in an unsecured mailbox. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. Install a lock on your mailbox if you live in an area where mail theft has occurred. This will reduce the risk of mail theft.5. Good Record KeepingBe sure to keep a list of all your credit card account numbers, expiration dates, and telephone numbers of the customer service and fraud departments in a secure place, not in your wallet or purse, so that you can quickly contact your creditors in case your cards are lost or stolen. Make a list of, or photocopy, all of your credit and debit cards. For each card, include the account number, expiration date, credit limit and the telephone numbers of customer service and fraud departments. Additionally be sure to store a list of bank accounts in secure location, along with access numbers.6. Lost or StolenA thief may steal, or the consumer may lose, the consumer's purse or wallet. The thief then may use the consumer's stolen personal identification information to obtain credit in the consumer's name.7. CollectionIf you receive calls from collection agencies or creditors for an account you don't have or that is up to date. Someone may have opened a new account in your name, or added charges to an account without your knowledge or permission. Financial account statements show withdrawals or transfers you didn't make. A creditor calls to say you've been approved or denied credit that you haven't applied for. Or, you get credit card statements for accounts you don't have. You apply for credit and are turned down, for reasons that do not match your understanding of your financial position.8. NotebooksLaptops and notebooks are treasure troves of useful information. Be sure to password protect any sensitive information. When creating passwords and PINs (personal identification numbers) do not use any part of your Social Security number, birth date, middle name, spouse's name, child's name, pet's name, mother's maiden name, address, telephone number, consecutive numbers, or anything that a thief could easily deduce or discover. For tips on strong passwords refer to: http://www.password-software.com . Avoid using an automatic log-in feature that saves your user name and password; and always log off when you are finished.9. ATM/ Credit CardsIf your ATM card has been lost, stolen or otherwise compromised, cancel the card as soon as you can. Get a new card with a new PIN. If you suspect unauthorized use, contact the provider's customer service and fraud departments immediately. Never give out your credit card, bank account or Social Security number over the telephone unless you placed the call and you have a trusted business relationship with the business or organization. Place passwords on credit cards, bank and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information like mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers. Cancel your unused credit cards so that the accounts will not appear as being "open" or "active" on your credit report. Shield your ATM or telephone key pad when using an ATM or making a phone call with your phone calling card. Some shoulder surfers' use binoculars or video cameras to record your numbers. If you use ABMs or point-of-sale terminals, always shield the entry of your PIN, and never give your access code (PIN) to anyone. Choose a PIN that can't be figured out easily, as you could be liable if you use a PIN combination selected from your name, telephone number, date of birth, address or Social Insurance Number (SIN). Remember that no one from a financial institution or the police will ask you for your PIN. Always take credit card, debit card and ATM receipts with you. Never throw them in a public trash container. ear them up or shred them at home when you no longer need them.10. TrashOne person's trash is another person's treasure. Shred documents before throwing them away. Be sure to shred credit card statements, bank statements, pre-approved applications, any important papers with identifying numbers. Memorize ALL passwords and PIN numbers. Keep them private. Some thieves create identities by retrieving "personal information" in your garbage or recycling bin by "dumpster diving".11. Public InformationSome thieves use public information, Searching public sources, such as newspapers (obituaries), phone books, and records open to the public (professional certifications). Consider not listing your residence telephone number in the telephone book, or consider listing your name and residence telephone number without an address. If you decide to list your name and telephone number, consider not listing your professional qualification or affiliation (for example, "Dr.," "Atty.," or "Ph.D .").12. Online BankingAfter completing a financial transaction or online banking, make sure you sign out of the Web site and clear your Internet file/caches (Internet files are retained in your computer automatically and thus should be cleared so that hackers cannot obtain the information). Most financial institutions provide instructions on "how to" clear the caches under their "security" section. Look for "https" in the URL header and a padlock icon on your Internet toolbar at the bottom of the screen; both indicate that a secure connection is in effect. With Microsoft Internet Explorer, click Tools then Internet Options. On the General tab, click Delete Files, Delete Cookies and Clear History buttons.13. PosingDo not release any information to anyone calling. Thieves often pose as a creditor, landlord or employer to get a copy of your credit report or access to your personal information from other confidential sources.

Finding Places To Access The Internet For Free

In an increasingly wireless world, there are lots of places where you can connect your laptop to the internet when you are out and about. These places are called "hotspots," and if you know where to find them, you may never want to go home again.How To Find Public HotspotsThe first place to look for hotspots is big public institutions. Libraries are increasingly offering wireless access. And, if you're a student, chances are that your campus is already wireless-enabled, or will be soon.Searching Out Private HotspotsThe private sector, though, is the real growth area in wireless hotspots. Businesses are falling over themselves to provide free internet access to their customers. Cafes, hotels and airports are all starting to offer wireless access to anyone nearby. All you need to bring is a wireless ready laptop.You may wonder how it benefits businesses to offer free wireless internet access. They are willing to pay the minimal cost in exchange for the new customers it brings in, especially in areas where internet access is hard to find. Customers see wireless access as a big added value, and they vote with their feet and wallets for places that provide it.Tracking Down The HotspotsEven though there are thousands of hotspots, they don't advertise this service well. Doing an internet search for hotspots in your town could really surprise you. In a town of any size, it would be surprising if there weren't lots of hotspots to choose from.There are plenty of websites you can go to to find hotspots. The most comprehensive, though, is generally thought to be JiWire.com. Or you can type your zip code into Yahoo Maps and choose 'WiFi Hotspots' from the menu on the right of the screen.Can't be bothered with all this? Then just look for a Starbucks. They are everywhere, and almost all of them offer "wireless internet" access. Borders and Kinko's are also good places to try. Failing that, just ask at a place of your choice.Not All Hotspots Are FreeSome of the larger hotspot networks require a small fee to a wireless Internet Service Provider to use them. You usually buy a prepaid card where the access is offered -- it's easy and affordable. If you want to save your money, just stick to the smaller, independent places.Get Your Own Free Hotspot SoftwareIf you like visiting hotspots, you might be interested in an easier way to find them. Just download and install hotspot locator software on your computer. This software has a database of known hotspots that you can search at any time, whether you're online or offline. Just type in a zip code or the name of the town, and the software will give you a list of the nearest hotspots, sorted by distance from you. Each time you make an Internet connection, the software downloads the latest hotspot list, to keep your database current. How cool is that?This hotspot locator software is available free from hotspot provider sites. T-Mobile Hotspot, for example, at: http://www.tmobile.com/hotspot.

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Summary

Being hacked or being cracked makes little difference to those on the receiving end. Understandably, their first impulses are to get mad and want to vent. The Cyberiter's contention is that, most of the time, they're lashing out in the wrong direction. After all, crooks are crooks; that's their job. Prevention is your job, so know the fundamentals of diligence.