This page is set up specifically to help you to remain alert to the many and various online scams, phishing attempts, spam protection, computer protection and provide you with the information and resources to protect yourself from those who would intend harm
::Scam Alerts [this page]::See Phishing Sample::FireWalls::Free Tools::Anti-Virus::Identity Theft::Computer Security::See Lottery SPAM Email::See e-Bay Phishing Sample!::
::  See Amazon Phishing Sample ::  Do you need a nanny cam for your kid's protection?  Find out before it's too late! ::


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Consumer Education Against Fraud & Deception<<<::-
This page is an ongoing effort to help you stay safe and secure online... so bookmark us and come back often. 
*Be sure to read the side columns, too, for all the extra-cool free links & advice for your peace of mind & safety online*.   Donna:)





:: Helpful Resources ::
       Welcome!  This page is specifically dedicated to protecting you!  Unsuspecting, good-hearted people join the internet every day, and fall victim to scams, attempts to steal their identity, and outright criminal meanness in various ways.  It is my goal to educate you and help you spot this vicious scamming, phishing, unethical activity and keep yourself safe so you can enjoy and appreciate the internet as it was designed to be, without worrying about somebody trying to dip into your wallet or steal your private, personal information.

        I have discovered many very cool tools to test your computer for safety, protect you from viruses, help stop email spam, and written various scam & phishing example pages to show you what kinds of ploys these people use to steal your information under the various guises of obtaining your help, lying to you that you won some obscure lottery, threatening shutdown of your bank account or paypal account (and the like) or playing on your sympathy with some long, drawn-out sob story.  I sincerely hope that this collection of pages will help someone and prevent more damages in some way.

        If you have any questions my contact information is on the main DonnaMaher.com home page.  I wish you much success and safety online.  Be sure to check out your own computer... you might be surprised at the "holes" in your computer that can allow hacker access!  Do that "Shields-Up!" safety port probe here.  Steve Gibson has unselfishly provided a huge resource of great computer protection and other tools for free at his site.

        Enjoy all the information and educational pages provided for you here, and learn from them... so you'll never fall victim to the nefarious folks that seem to have nothing better to do with their lives than try to bilk us out of our hard-earned money.

                                                                                                              Warmest regards,

                                                                                                       

:: SiteMap ::


Donna Maher is a nurse, an infopreneur, and a consumer advocate who cares about everyone!
Donna Maher RN
Infopreneur & Webmaster







See the  *newest pages*  in this self-protection series - Bank Phishing & Paypal "Update" Phishing Examples!


::Resources::
::Bug-News - And How To Protect Yourself::
::Tools::


VirusAlert_mydoom_120x90_1
Click the image to learn more about McAfee Security.


FREE Tools:

Free Software to scan your computer for SpyWare

programs & help you get rid of them for good!

Free resource site to learn all about your computer's vulnerabilities from an amazing programmer who cares about you!  Steve Gibson simply "rocks"!









Email Donna with questions or comments about this site:
moreinfo AT
donnamaher.com




::Sponsor Ad::

Visit Mailbox Filter to learn how to stop this garbage from ever getting into your computer in the first place.  Cool link!



Virus & Scam Watches:



Dialers Ring Up Hijacked Phone Charges
This one freaked me out... I didn't know it existed!

Also known as "drive by downloads", Web Dialers—often sporting garish names like XXXDial or CashDialer—prey on dial-up account users running unpatched Windows operating systems, older versions of Internet Explorer or PCs without good anti-virus software. The scam is devilishly simple: Simply by visiting a site, you can become targeted and have your online session redirected to an expensive ISP—in the blink of an eye, without your immediate knowledge.

Some pages are more brazen, asking unsuspecting surfers to "Click here to see adult content" or "Play a game", which trigger the download of nefarious payloads in the background.

"Most Web Dialers don't ask permission before they drop a piece of executable code", explained Bryson Gordon, senior product manager for McAfee VirusScan. "Regardless, they all instantly disconnect your session, then reconnect you to another service. You notice nothing, until a month later when your phone bill arrives with unexpected charges."

The threat is huge. "We've detected about 250,000 different Web Dialers, many spawned by organized crime in Eastern Europe," Gordon added. "And since August 2003, we've noted 4 million computers affected. It's not uncommon to have victims report $5,000 charges on their phone bill. Some Dialers redirect to services charging up to $500 per minute."


The Best Way to 'Hang Up' on Web Dialers

  1. Follow a key anti-virus best practice: Always update your OS with the latest patches from Microsoft.
  2. Install spyware detection. For example, McAfee VirusScan detects then deletes a range of intrusive spyware, from Web Dialers and adware to key loggers, which secretly rob passwords, log-ins and credit card number numbers.

    "A recent German study comparing spyware detection by 15 anti-virus products put VirusScan at No. 1, with the highest Web Dialer detection rate, 98.9%," said Gordon, "far ahead of Symantec at just 65%."

  3. Regularly run on-demand spyware scans, especially if you frequent online adult or gaming destinations.
Article Compliments of McAfee VirusScan Website
Really GOOD
*FREE* AntiVirus Programs:

Compare them, you will get free trials, because all work just a little bit differently with various computer operating systems.  Some are totally free for home users.

Really Good
*Paid* AntiVirus Programs:

The BEST site on security on the net ever and this UnPnP utility is a "must" for security online, and he has LOTS more for your computer's security at the site.  I don't know why he does what he does for free, but he's totally COOL in my books!
Visit Steve Gibson's awesome site!













"Shoot the Messenger" (this does NOT refer to MSN Messenger, the popular program many use to chat with... but refers to the intrusive, ad-bearing, annoying little pop-up type of messenging system built into Microsoft Windows computers.  It can be safely disabled with this cool, fast software tool from GRC.   This great freebie protects you from those annoying spammers who use this built-in Windows messaging system to try to sell you their wares!

Some sites try to sell you protection software to disable this feature, but GRC gives it to you for free.  Takes under 5 minutes to download, install, and be done with it for good! Go!

::Anti-Spam Tips::

The US Gov't has joined in the fight against UCE with a brand new email address to use to send them your SPAM & UCE & phishing and other horrid scam emails so they can investigate the perpetrators and hopefully arrest them.  Spamming and phishing are illegal and wrong, and you can help!

Here's How:
Open the message source (BUT DO NOT OPEN ANY OF THOSE ATTACHMENTS!)
and then copy and paste the entire source - it must include that header information to be traceable in any way.  Open this link to see an example of finding those email source codes of spam email examples I'm talking about.

Then you will email the entire source of the unsolicited message to the US Government here:
spam@uce.gov and they will take it from there.


I added another email source code sample for the email lottery scam-spam, too.  Visit them both and learn what to look out for!

AND my newest one about e-Bay Phishing Emails!

Lots more to come!
One thing is certain, the spammers & phishers keep the supply of worthless or evil email coming in droves!

Sasser (worm) and FireWalls:


Today, it's just too easy to fall prey to modern Internet viruses, especially so-called "blended threats" like the recent Sasser worm and its variants, which exploited a Windows 2000/XP operating system vulnerability to drop Trojan-like payloads on infected PCs with astonishing ease.

Unlike the recent wave of mass-mailing worms (Mydoom, Bagle and Netsky), Sasser slipped past regular security defenses without hiding inside a typical email attachment. Simply by logging onto the Internet, vulnerable systems contracted the worm, which wrecked worldwide havoc by shutting down PCs and networks.

Technically, on infected PCs, Sasser creates a remote TCIP shell at communication port 9995, scans the Internet for vulnerable computers, then forwards copies of itself. Infected systems pass Sasser on with exponential force. Imagine a pebble tossed into a still pool, spreading replicating waves of concentric (and infectious) ripples, looking for new targets.

Last month, authorities caught the Sasser worm programmer, a German teenager who, ironically, claimed his original goal was to create a virus called "Netsky A" that would combat the recent "Mydoom" and "Bagle" viruses, helping remove them from infected PCs. In the process, he birthed Sasser.

How many PCs fell victim? No one knows for sure. Estimates ranged from "several hundred thousand" to "millions" of PCs worldwide.

"Still, for all the trouble Sasser caused, it didn't compare to last summer's Lovsan," said James Schmidt, McAfee Personal Firewall Plus product manager. Like Sasser, that worm also exploited a Windows OS flaw. "Incredibly, after just 24 hours, Hackerwatch.org recorded 78 million Lovsan-related pings on IP addresses, 2 billion after 30 days. Sasser never approached that volume."

How to Protect Your PC From Sasser-like Threats

  1. Install and update your anti-virus protection.
  2. Download the latest Microsoft Windows operating system patch. On your Internet Explorer toolbar, go to Tools, select Windows Update then "Scan for updates." In the meantime, read Microsoft's own security bulletins.
  3. Complement your anti-virus protection with the multi-layered protection provided by a firewall. For example, McAfee Personal Firewall Plus puts a secure barrier between your PC and unauthorized communication, helping block Sasser-like worms before they can attack or infect your PC, which in effect, remains invisible to such threats.

Essential Protection for Network Connections

Ideal for dial-up or broadband (DSL, cable) Internet connections, McAfee Personal Firewall Plus not only blocks online thieves but lets you trace the source of hacker attacks, avoid future threats and alert the proper authorities (including ISPs or law enforcement). And because ease of use remains a concern with this technology, McAfee Personal Firewall Plus is designed for maximum protection the moment it is installed so that users can "install it and forget it."

In fact, industry analysts such as those with highly respected research firm Gartner Inc. strongly recommend that companies use personal firewalls on as many PCs as possible. The need is greatest for enterprise laptops and all machines used by remote workers with broadband connections.

There are several common sense reasons for this. First, there's the sheer number of potential threats. Researchers estimate there might be up to 100,000 known viruses, with literally hundreds of new ones being created or unleashed every month. And often, the vulnerabilities they exploit weren't introduced by the user; they were in the operating system to begin with, and require a high level of technical sophistication to even detect, let alone remedy.

"Viruses that exploit vulnerabilities in an operating system are much more serious-they have the potential to bring down a company's entire local area network," Schmidt added. "That's why, in this time of heightened security, every PC that's part of a corporate network needs to have a personal firewall."

Save $5 on McAfee Personal Firewall Plus
Article Compliments of McAfee VirusScan Website Try McAfee FireWall


::SiteMap::Donna's Main Site::SEO Traffic Book - Order one or get the free one::
:: Why You May Need A Nanny Cam!  ::


*Free*
 FireWalls:
You can set ZA to stealth mode and be completely protected while surfing the net.  There is no need to leave your computer ports open to hackers and those with nefarious plots against your computer or your privacy! 

If you doubt my word, use this Computer Security link:

Probe Your Ports Now & See Why I SO HIGHLY Recommend Using FireWalls!  I was shocked when I first visited this site and learned how vulnerable we all are online without a firewall.


*For Pay* FireWalls:


(More to be added as I research them for you - ok, when I get more time :)




Related
 Anti-SCAM Links:


See example of SCAM email designed to steal your bank info here.

See example of those LOTTERY WINNER SPAM-SCAMS here.






 




::Short Little 'Protect Your Online Friends From Spam' Movie For You::
How to protect your email friends from spammers harvesting their private info...
 it's easy, but many folks simply don't know how!
So, I'm going to teach you with this little amateur video I made for a friend about
how to forward email without compromising your friends identities and privacy! :-)  



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