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Is the Internet doomed as we know it?

December 31, 2013 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Computer Crash

Is the Internet breaking apart?

 

The reason I ask this question is based on four important facts.

  • China’s Great Firewall segments the Chinese Internet so that the chinese have great difficulty accessing anything outside China.
  • Russia has now planned legislation so that Russian Internet users cannot access foreign services.
  • In November Germany  said that all communications between the German authorities would be fully enforced to stay within the country.
  • Brazil have also announced plans to create an alternative Internet channel so as not to go through the United States.

The Internet appears to be breaking up into national sectors. In addition, probably driven by the US’s interception and recording of personal transmissions over the Internet (spying in effect), more countries are considering restrictions within their national boundaries.

Countries appear not to want their information and citizens comments to be available outside their own countries any more, and with countries and continents now making restrictions to how the Internet can be used within their countries seems to be adding to the velocity of these actions. So this could be a killer for some businesses that get a lot of their income from sales outside their home country, if they are not allowed access to those customers any more their businesses will surely suffer.

You will be aware of the EU legislation, which initially insisted on explicit acceptance of cookies on EU targeted web sites, later watered down to implied acceptance. This created considerable confusion and concern from countries outside the EU, who wanted to reach the EU customers, but were not sure if they had to comply with the cookie legislation, hell, there was even more confusion within the EU as no one was clear on exactly what was required or expected. There are still many sites that do not comply with the legislation that should, but I have not yet heard of one warning or prosecution by the authorities. So what was that cookie stuff all about?

So over the coming year or years, I think we will see more of the Internet breaking up into national segments.

Then there is some other issues that will affect the Internet going forward.

The number of Cyber Attacks on big financial organisations are increasing and that’s likely to continue, with additional attacks on government organisations rising too.

Hacker’s lives are being made easier too, with more and more sensitive data being committed to the ‘Cloud’ it is without doubt more accessible to the devout hacker. In addition there are  hundreds of staff that are managing this ‘Cloud’ data in individual organisations. How do we know whether one or more of them that has access to this data, is not extracting it any selling it on or using it themselves for personal gain?

IMO it is best to keep data such as this securely in-house where it can be monitored and controlled effectively rather than store it on third party servers, where you really have no control at all, just their word that it is safe.

Phishing is also on the increase and no-one seems to be able to stop it or spamming.

So what is the future of the Internet for 2014?

Will it be anything like it is now in 2015?

 

 

 

The Dummies Guide to being a Moron on the Internet

December 8, 2013 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Dummies Guide

Dummies Guide

How to be an absolute moron on the Internet

The Process in 10 Easy Steps

STEP 1

Go to Google, Yahoo and any other free email services and set up hundreds of new email addresses. You will need some that are absolutely meaningless like QwvFHJH@gmail.com and some that will be useful in later steps such as barclaysbank.custserv@hotmail.com.

 

 

STEP 2

Scan internet pages for email addresses, and save them in a database for future steps, or better still set up a web bot to do it for you, it can get them while you are sleeping then.

STEP 3 (Optional)
Write a facebook app and call it something like CityVille or FarmVille or similar, you will be able to get your hands on millions of emails and post to millions of walls once you have got this.
STEP 4

Find some free web hosts and get some web space, get a domain name that means nothing like qtyrew.com and set up some sub domains like paypal.admin.qtyrew.com so they look like they belong to PayPal, banks etc.

STEP 5
Use the email addresses you set up in Step 1 to send emails out to all the addresses you got in step 2, telling them that you have access to millions of dollars and want to get it out of your country and ask them to send their bank details to you. You could also send out some saying you are from a bank or paypal (see how useful that barclaysbank.custserv@hotmail.com is going to be) telling them to enter their login details onto a page you set up on the webspace in STEP 4.   You won’t get many people that fall for it but if just 1 out of a million emails sent does, it must be worth it, yes?
Repeat Step 5 a short while later in case they didn’t reply, and again a short while later, it might work.
STEP 6
Join an affiliate program for a sex site, online drug shop or cheap loans company or the like.
STEP 7
Visit every bulletin board,blog or forum on the Internet, or better still set up a web bot to do it for you, and post links to the sites you are affiliated to. Don’t forget to add your affiliate ID or you won’t get paid if some other moron actually clicks your link and makes a purchase.
STEP 8
Use the affiliate links you got in step 6 in emails to send out to all the addresses you got in step 2. Use a different email address, one of the ones you set up in step 1, to the one you used for other scams and phishes.
STEP 9

Remember that app you set up in Facebook? Well by now it has collected hundreds of email addresses, user names and granted you access to millions of users walls and news feeds. Fill your boots!

Send out links using the affiliate links you got in step 8 to all of their news feeds, with a message something like ‘This user Likes xxxx. Click the link to view’.
What the hell, you might as well send emails like you sent in step 5, to all of these too, got to have half a chance with these, after all they were dumb enough to use your app!
STEP 10
After all this, if you haven’t made any money, and frankly, there’s not much chance you will, but at least you’ve pissed off a lot of people, and that’s probably the police at your door now, you could always try and sell all the email addresses you have gleaned to some other moron who’s thinking of trying the same things.
Hope you enjoy.
Steve

Short URLs good or bad

May 24, 2013 // Posted in Computer Tips (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  1 Comment

First of all for those of you that do not know what a shortened URL is, here’s a quick explanation.

A shortened URL allows users to shorten, share, and often track links (web addresses). Reducing the URL length makes sharing easier. For example the shortened link http://bit.ly/steverblog would actually take you to my blog on MyOpera at http://my.opera.com/SteveRiches/blog/, and http://bit.ly/b3hHHs would actually take you to one of my web sites http://www.richosoft.co.uk/.

Shortened URL’s can be obtained for FREE from places like http://bit.ly, and others. Some like bit.ly, will also offer tracking statistics on your shortened URL’s. This allows you to see what site the visitor was referred by, how many people have clicked this URL, where they came from, what browser they were using and much more.

OK, so I have have a shortened URL for my page. What use is it to me or my friends, colleagues or business contacts?

  •     When Tweeting on Twitter, I can save characters in my tweet by reducing the length of a link to my website that I wish to include, but the viewer can still reach the long link address in one click.
  •     When sending an email and including my web address, I can shorten any link to my website, making the email less cluttered, and if it is a very long web address, avoid the viewer having to cut and paste the address because it wouldn’t fit on one line in the email.
  •     I can get extensive tracking statistics. (see above)
  •     I don’t have to type long web addresses into emails, tweets and facebook posts, reducing the possibility of typing errors.
  •     Links look tidier.

So much for the benefits what are the possible problems?

When you click the link http://bit.ly/b3hHHs you do not know where it is going to take you, whereas when you see the link http://www.richosoft.co.uk/, you can be pretty certain you are going to the RichoSoft site.
http://bit.ly/b3hHHs could be taking you to a porn site, phishing site, malware distribution site or some other un-desirable site.

ADVICE
My advice to you is to only click shortened links if you are confident that the source is genuine and the link valid. Some big companies use shortened links including companies like The BBC, Opera and big retail organisations, and the links they may send you, or post on twitter can usually be trusted.

Also whatever link you see in an email or internet page, be aware that you might not actually be going to the site shown, eg: Click this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk

Where did it take you?    Did you see the BBC home page?   You now see what I mean?

In most browsers today, you can preview where the link is really taking you by first hovering over the link and checking out the status bar,  some email clients do the same or similar. So before clicking a link check it out first.

How to remember many Strong Passwords

May 24, 2013 // Posted in Computer Tips (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

We all use the Internet more and more, and now regularly visit many sites that require a password.

Strong Passwords are Good

Strong Passwords are Good

 

But how do you remember so many different passwords as it is best to set a different password for each site?
You can do this effectively by:

 

 

  1. Write just part of your password down, or store in a file, or on your mobile phone. But what if someone steals my phone or computer or finds my paper? That is OK, because you are only writing down part of your password, and they will not know what site it refers to, as we will see in a moment.
  2. Create STRONG passwords with letters, numbers and non-alphanumeric characters, and keep them as long as possible. Mix upper and lower case characters. This way they cannot be guessed. Never use your date of birth, or house number/post code or name in your password, as people can get these off the Internet in places like Facebook etc.
  3. Now you need to create your passwords:
  • Think of a PIN that you will always remember, 3 ,4 or 5 characters long, something like  3478# or 8#7 or 23&4.
  • For each web site you need a password for create a code that helps you remember what site it is for e.g.,  FBk for facebook, RSoF for RichoSoft, TWit for Twitter etc.Next add some random characters  e.g., 4556, or zc98@.  Use different random characters for each password.

    These you write down, save in a file or store in your phone. Anyone finding these would not know what they refer to, and the password is not complete anyway, so would not work.

You now have passwords that look like this:

FBk298745+C
RSoFhgTf89%F
TWitBV65W_u

 

  • Next we use your PIN. Decide whether your PIN will be at the beginning or end of your password, and when using the passwords add  your PIN, to this position. So if we had a pin 3478#  our passwords above  would become:
FBk298745+C3478#
RSoFhgTf89%F3478#
TWitBV65W_u3478#
OR
3478#FBk298745+C
3478#RSoFhgTf89%F
3478#TWitBV65W_u
  • These full passwords are the ones to use on the sites, and now we have STRONG passwords that cannot possibly be guessed, and you only need to remember the PIN Part and whether it is at the front or back. The rest is written down or saved  so you do not forget it. By having a different password for each site, if someone does actually find out one of your passwords the others are totally safe.

Keeping your Computer Secure

May 24, 2013 // Posted in Computer Tips (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Nowadays more and more people are using their computers for all kinds of communication, Internet, Social Networks, Banking, Shopping, Chatting and live video and phone calls.  But the more we do, the more risk becomes from hackers, and attackers.

Whilst some of these are simply trying to inconvenience you by maliciously infecting your PC, others are trying to get your personal information and to access your bank accounts. These are doing what is called ‘phishing’.

Computer Security

Computer Security

So what can you do to minimise the risk?

Install a complete Internet  Online Security Package, one that contains a firewall, anti-virus, anti-fishing, anti-spam and ID protection, such as McAfee Internet Security Suite. It’s a good idea to get one that also checks web pages as you go them for suspicious activity. Make sure you have automatic updates switched on to keep the virus patterns etc. Up to date.

Always make backups of your important files, pictures and documents on DVD or external hard drive, and store it safely away from your PC.

Make sure you are running genuine Windows Software (If this is your OS), and switch on automatic updates to keep your PC up to date with the latest security patches.

Check your Browser’s settings, and select the maximum level of security.

Do NOT open email attachments without checking them for viruses, and if they are not from someone you trust, delete them!

Do NOT follow any links in emails asking you to reset, reconfirm or update you bank account details. Banks do not send this kind of email, so it is surely phishing, delete them!

Create a Boot and recovery disk for your PC, in case it becomes infected viruses and will no longer start up, some Security Software will create this for you automatically.

Turn off your computer and/or disconnect from your network, when it is not in use.

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