Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Pocket knives

When I was a little kid, pocket knives were fairly common. So were Swiss Army Knives. Before the age of technology, people thought that Swiss Army Knives were cool. 

So when I was little, my father gave me a small pocket knife that was also a bottle opener.  It was fairly harmless.  I kept it with me for about a decade until I broke it trying to fix a loose chain on my bicycle.  

I don't think that there was any problem taking something like this to school.  It was a different era.  Today it would be considered a weapon. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Beware of Phishing scams

In the last month I have been getting a large number of scam text messages telling me that there is a problem with my craigslist account, or my bank account, or that I have a text telling me that I have a message on Facebook, with a link that looks like Facebook, but isn't. The link looks like:

This scam is trying to get me me to give away my login name and password. The way you know it is a scam is to look at the domain name, which is the part before the ".com" or ".net" or ".info", which shows that the link is not from Facebook, or your bank, or whatever.

I can't think of a reason why anyone would need to click on a link in a text message. If your bank has a problem with your account, chances are they will send you an email. However, these kinds of phishing scams happen in emails too, and sometimes they are harder to spot in emails. What I do with an email is look at the who the sender is, which should be the same as the service, like "facebook.com". Even with these you have to be careful that it doesn't say something like "facebook.com.scammer.com".

I remember around 2004 I feel for a scam in an email, which was ransomware. I should have known better, but it is easy to slip up. It locked up my computer and then offered to sell me a "virus checker" to fix the problem. I took my computer to a repair shop instead.