“New” Scam: Stimulus Checks

March 5, 2009 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

I find this an unsurprising alert.  The government has us all wary of pitfalls, and we all know there is money out there.  There have been what seem innumerable articles about the fellows in the halls of the few and mighty, most notably those who handled the economic crisis of the 90s.  [I’ve left out all the potential quote marks.]  I would like anyone who reads this to visit the bloody link and read carefully.  This much-named and many-sited company is just one among many; it merely happened to catch someone’s attention.

Here are some easy rules.  First of all, most people like to “toss the TOS”.  They don’t want to read the terms of service, because they are  literally fine print and often hard to read.  The vocabulary is [deliberately] esoteric quite often.  And it is a lot harder to undo something than it is to avoid doing it in the first place.  Read the TOS.  Carefully.  Even if you know where it came from.  I admit that I often update programs without rereading the Terms Of Service, and I know damned well it’s potentially fatal.  I have some inbuilt protection because of who and what I am–where my income comes from, and the fact that it just isn’t much (and I don’t have any credit cards. at all).

If it’s freeware, it’s a lot safer if it comes from a known source.  However, case in point:  Tucows.  I knew that place for nearly 20 years, and it used to be absolutely trustworthy as any place like that could be.  Now it’s an outpost of warez and should be blacklisted, period.  Any advertising from there is an invitiation to have your computer join a botnet.  You can’t unsubscribe from newsletters.

Final note in this miniature rant.  Whois.  What and who is whois?  Type “whois” on a Google search, or google an address without the http (whois oregonnerd.wordpress.com, for instance).  This does a DNS search.  There are still programs out there that obfuscate things, but that is what “whois” is; an internet function.  An actual, real one.  Free, too.

–Glenn

Entry filed under: browsers, computers/tech, current news, freeware, internet, internet security.

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