A Mischief Of Magpies

If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and a Mischief of Magpies would be as small as a pea.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Stupid people and online safety

Most people with an internet connection will eventually get at least one email purporting to be from a bank or other online service that asks you to click on a link and enter your financial details. The link, of course, takes you to a bogus web site that captures your details so that they can be used to empty your bank account.

This is called phishing and is a growing problem.

Three US academics have just published the results of their research into why people still fall for this type of fraud.

Much is made of the fact that many people do have difficulty telling a genuine email from a fake one and that a carefully spoofed website will fool the vast majority of people. However, as pointed out elsewhere, these scams can be easily avoided by simply not clicking on any links in an email. Banks can, of course, encourage safer online behaviour by making very clear that they will never include clickable links in emails and that they will never send you an email asking for your personal details.

That said, the sheer stupidity on display from some of the people caught by these scams is astounding.

Recently a number of users fell victim to phishing attacks from a group claiming to be a well-known bank. People entered bank details who weren't even the bank's customers.

And on the off chance that any of those people are visiting this blog and feel the need to respond, please remeber to include your full name, address, bank, account number and your mother's maiden name in your comments.


At 12:32 am, Blogger ill man said...

It's the ones that don't even have an account with the bank named in the email that get me. They almost deserve the consequences.


At 9:16 am, Blogger Paul said...

Almost being the operative word. I'm not suggesting that anyone does deserve to be defrauded, but there are some steps that anyone can take to protect themselves.

And not giving out your personal details to someone you've never dealt with before does seem pretty obvious.


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