Security Tip: Change Passwords Often
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
It is a good idea to get into the habit of changing the passwords you use online on a regular basis. This is especially true with regard to important passwords such as those you use for Internet banking, webmail, and other sensitive services.
Changing passwords can help you keep one step ahead of hackers and general snoops who want to poke their noses into your personal affairs. Most online services will let you change your password very easily, usually by logging in with your old password and supplying a new one.
This simple security procedure is often neglected, largely because it can be something of a hassle. Changing the password itself is usually quick and simple, but of course, then you have to go to the trouble of memorizing your new password.
A simple way around this problem is to devise a set of secret password-changing rules that only you know about. For example, you could keep a base string of characters in your password and only change the characters at the beginning. And you could pr
posted by Brett Christensen @ 4:35 PM, ,
Every August since 2004 I have received messages from irate site visitors who accuse me of being totally wrong in denouncing the Mars Close To Earth email forward as a hoax.
This email forward, which begins circulating anew during July and August every year, claims that Mars will be the closest to Earth in recorded history during August. This was true in 2003, but has not been true for any year since.
These visitors rather belligerently claim that they have seen evidence from a very credible source, namely the BBC, which proves that the information in the email forward is in fact true. They berate me for my lack of research and claim that my article could cause many people to miss out on this “once in a lifetime” event. However, when I gently point out that their conclusions are based on a simple error on their part, their belligerence is rapidly replaced with embarrassment.
The "proof" they speak of are BBC articles about the, factual, 2003 close encounter with Mars. These old articles are apt to come up high in the search results for people who are looking to verify information in the email forward. At face value, these articles seem to completely confirm the claims in the email forward. However, many people apparently forget to look at the DATE the articles were last updated – in this case, August 2003.
Of course, once the reader notices this date, it becomes clear that articles like mine dismissing post 2003 versions of the email forward as inaccurate and hopelessly outdated don’t miss the mark after all.
News articles have been available on the Internet for a long time now, and there is a vast and growing repository of archived news information available. But, before you use an online news article to back up a point of view or verify a piece of information that has come your way, it is important to check the date that the article was published. Although it may have been true at the time of publication, information in an outdated article may have no relevance to current events whatsoever and may cause unnecessary confusion when used out of its original time frame.
The "published" or "last updated" date is usually included at the top or bottom of online news articles and should not be difficult to locate.
posted by Brett Christensen @ 4:25 PM, ,
Malware Campaign Changes Again
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The ongoing malware distribution campaign that began with bogus eCard notification emails has again changed direction. The latest malware emails claim to offer information about the National Football League (NFL). Like their predecessors, links in the messages lead to a website that can download malware components to the user's computer.
An example of one of the malware emails:
Get Your Free NFL Game Tracker
Football......Need we say more?
We can keep you on top of every single game this season.
Have all the details for every game with our free game tracking system:
NFL Kickoff weekend and another Dorf malware campaign
posted by Brett Christensen @ 1:42 PM, ,
Totally Revamped Hoax-Slayer Forums
Monday, September 3, 2007
I'm please to announce that the new-look Hoax-Slayer Forums are now ready, and waiting for new members.
The software I am using for the new forums gives me a great deal more control over their appearance and behavior than I had with the older incarnation. Most importantly, with the new forums, I am able to apply more powerful anti-spam measures which should go a long way towards keeping spamming slime and their vile little bots under control.
I'm intending to do all I can to create an active and informative online community, so please come on over and have a peek. We'd love to have you!
The forums are completely free to join and do not display any advertising.
Visit the new forums
posted by Brett Christensen @ 6:52 PM, ,