Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo Scams

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The phishing scams that extracted, for lack of a better word, passwords of the g-ds only know how many accounts of those, and maybe even other, email servers, prove yet again that users are basically clueless as to cybersecurity, despite all the regular warnings everywhere, including radio and TV even ion some places.

Time and again it simply amazes me how gullible users are and how they still think that providers (and banks) send them emails of the kind that were used in this scam, and similar that are used in the usual banking scams, that ask for passwords – and in the case of banks PINs and such.

Why, and this is beyond my comprehension, does it seem to be so difficult for users to understand even the most basic principles of online security. It is not rocket science but to most users it might as well be.

This is the same as to anti-virus software where some do not have the faintest idea, so it would seem, that it is no good just having such software installed on the computer without ever updating it.

As to such scams where the criminals phish for personal information, passwords, and other such stuff, neither any proper email provider, nor Facebook, Twitter, any financial institution, and other service provider, etc., will ever send our emails asking for password, or similar or to ask a user to verify his or her password.

Also, if you receive an email that tells you you have won the lottery at home or abroad, then that, you can rest assured, is also a scam and a phishing attempt. First of all if that is a lottery you have not or cannot have entered and secondly I have yet to see a lottery company that actually takes your email address or such. So, those emails are fakes, believe me, and are meant to trick you into giving away pwesonal security information.

Cybersecurity, in its basic form, is not rocket science but very much a case of common sense.

In the same way as one does not hand one's credit- or debit card PIN to anyone, not even to employees of the bank – even if they should ask for it (they have not right to do so, by the way) – neither does one do that with one's passwords to online service, computers, etc. anywhere.

But, as they say, there is one born every minute.

© 2009