I tend to get many requests from people all over the world who like to know if there is a way to find out if a website on the Internet is malicious in nature or dangerous in other ways before accessing it.
There are actually a few possibilities to handle that. Most of these require specific IT knowledge however to look up server and domain information at the domain registrar and query databases that contain relevant information.
A better option for most users is to install a web browser extension that handles all of that for them. And one of those extensions is the Web of Trust extension which is available for Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.
Whenever you want to signup for a new service on the Internet you need to fill out at least a handful information on the signup page. This usually includes at least an email address, username and password for the service but often additional personal information such as your name, birthday or address. All of those information can be filled out manually which quickly becomes a nuisance if it is done on a regular basis or by using a web browser add-on that can fill out forms automatically.
The excellent password manager Last Pass, which we have reviewed in the past, can be used to fill out forms automatically as well. It supports multiple profiles that need to be created once by the user so that they can be used to fill out forms whenever it is needed. This simplifies and automates the process.
Here is how it is done:
You do need the Last Pass add-on which is available for the web browsers Firefox, Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer. The form filler is automatically included in the add-on. A new profile can be created by right-clicking on a blank spot on a website in the web browser and selecting the Last Pass Fill Forms options which opens a submenu with options to add or edit a profile. Continue reading Using Last Pass To Fill Out Forms
You probably have come upon password security questions before. They are often used when a user forgets the password to an account to identify the user. The major problem with those security questions is the fact that they often only display general questions that the user can chose from during configuration. This includes the mother’s maiden name, the first school, the favorite sports team or the birthplace.
Asking those questions is problematic because of two things. First, they are not that secure if the attacker has access to information about you. Your mother for instance would surely know most of the answers to those questions, as would a close friend and even most work colleagues or class mates might. The second problem with these type of questions is that they can also be easily guessed. The number of possibilities is a lot smaller than the number of possible passwords for an account meaning an attacker could simply try the most popular answers to see if they would be a hit.
MySpace was one of the first websites to start the social networking boom. It is not the most visited social networking site anymore – this is Facebook by now – but still visited by millions of users per day.
That naturally results in users having problems logging into the website from time to time. A second problem is that MySpace users are regularly targeted by hackers and phishers and that this can also result in the account being inaccessible.
A MySpace user experiencing login issues needs to analyse the situation carefully. Is the MySpace website loading? Are error messages displayed? Are the MySpace username or password accepted?
Security is important. Computer security basically consists of protecting data from unauthorized access. Data can be anything from files on the computer system over personal information of the user to tax documents, photos or credit card transactions. Many Internet users do not see it that way and reduce it to protecting the computer against computer virus attacks.
by Lorri37 via http://www.flickr.com/photos/66963159@N00/84504259/
If you ever worked in tech support you know that there are users who have to use computers without having a clue what is going on. Those users open a website by entering its url in the search form, click on links in emails, open attachments and do many other things that experienced computer users call foolish or at least a security risk.
I have met many PC users who could not tell me on which website they were currently on and it took a lot of navigating around before they could tell me.
This guide is for those users. It will explain how to find out on which website you are and if it is the right website. This may sound trivial to experienced users but believe me when I say that it can benefit inexperienced users.
This guide will use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 web browser. Other web browsers, like Firefox, usually have a similar layout.
Here is a handy phishing flow chart that can help inexperienced computer users in analyzing potentially dangerous emails. Check out our how to identify phishing attacks guide for additional information and tips on phishing attacks.
The flow chart basically walks a user through the analysis of an email. It begins by identifying the sender and then checking consecutively if the email contains links or attachments and if it requests personal information.
PayPal offers a very popular financial service on the Internet. This can be attributed in part to its integration in eBay but also the fact that users can transfer money worldwide easily. Its popularity makes PayPal also the most phished brand in the world and users should be aware of the fact that criminals target PayPal more often than other services.
The standard PayPal login looks like the following:
Phishing is an attack form that is usually carried out by email. The term phishing is made up of the two words password and fishing which describes the basic concept. Attackers try to convince the user that the email has been send by a trusted organization. Most phishing emails fake emails from financial organizations like PayPal or banks but other services like social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace are also targeted by phishers.
Links in those emails lead to fake websites that look like the original website. The only purpose of those fake websites is to catch the login data of the user who does not realize that the fake website is not the real one.
Passwords, and login data in general, have a severe impact on a user’s security on the Internet. This is so because most users tend to pick easy to remember usernames and passwords when creating accounts on sites such as Gmail, Facebook, MySpace or Flickr. Those easy passwords can however be easily guessed by hackers.
It is therefor generally insecure to select basic passwords that are either dictionary words (think of car, password or login), words related to the site (think of picking gmail as the password on Gmail) or related to the user (think of birthdays, dog’s name).