Beware Amazon Phishing Emails

Amazon phishing emails

 

Over Christmas, shoppers reported a high number of Amazon phishing emails hitting their inboxes.

Mainly targeting people in Europe and USA, the emails attempted to trick recipients into believing there was a problem with their recent order.

They were encouraged to click on a link that took them to Amazon’s website – or at least a fake one make to look like the genuine article.

The customer was then asked to type in their bank details to re-verify their account. If they did, their banking details were stolen and sent to a server controlled by the scammers.

Don’t get caught out

Amazon isn’t the only company used by scammers, and there are a few things you can bear in mind when receiving emails.

Usually, most companies like Amazon won’t ask for personal information such as bank details, PINs or passwords.

If you do get an email from a reputable company telling you your details or account have been compromised, check the sender’s email address. If it looks odd, it probably is.

If you’re not sure, open your browser and check out the company’s website directly – never click on a link in an email. Call or email them through the site for confirmation before you do anything.

Phishing emails like these are everywhere, so it pays to remain vigilant at all times.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

 

8 Free-ish Anti-phishing Tools

Phishing

Here are a couple of alarming phishing stats for you to ponder:

  • 85% of organisations have suffered a phishing attack
  • An average phishing email has a 30% chance of being opened

Education is a great way to prevent falling victim, but it never hurts to have another layer of protection too.

You might be wondering why we used the word ‘free-ish’ in the title. Well, that’s because not all of the 8 are free, but they are still worth knowing about.

0Spam

This works with POP, IMAP, Gmail and AOL by downloading your email before it is delivered to you, remove the spam, and then deliver the good mail to you. It allows you to use CAPTCHA to verify senders, set up whitelists for individual emails or entire domains, customise verification emails, download lists that include a week’s spam and more.

It’s free for single email accounts receiving less than 1,000 spam messages a week. There is a premium option available too.

AlienCamel

Apart from a really cool name, AlienCamel offers you unlimited email storage (IMAP and POP) on their servers and sorts your email for you into “Pending” and “Spam” folders so you can view everything before you download it to your system.

It works with most of the popular email clients for both Windows and Mac OS X, and they are also currently testing an iPhone app. The service costs $8 USD a month, or $80 a year.

Spam Arrest

After setting up a whitelist for your contacts, every person who emails you will get an automated CAPTCHA reply that they must respond to for their email to get through to you (only on their first email).

All spam messages are held on the Spam Arrest servers for 7 days so you can see if there are any you want to let through. The service is $5.95 USD when paid monthly.

Spamfence

This free service is a little awkward because you need two email addresses with your mail provider: Mail is delivered to the first address, passed on to Spamfence to check it for viruses and spam, and then the cleaned email is delivered to the second address.

GFI MailEssentials

Using two spam detection engines, this one attempts to reduce the rate of false positives to make sure that email gets to the folder it truly belongs in. The system supports Microsoft Exchange 2000, 2003, 2007 and Lotus Domino, and offers a plethora of blacklists and whitelists based on criteria of your choosing.

Mailprotector

This one is for business and corporate users, Mailprotector tests each email for origination, routeing, construction, communication and content, and then assigns it a score based on the results. Fail the test, and it’s off to the spam folder.

SpamAssassin

This versatile spam filtering system can be placed anywhere in the email stream to do its job. Due to this feature, it can work with a great number of email setups, including Gmail. It can be used on servers running Linux, Mac, Unix or Windows.

SPAMFighter

SPAMFighter is an Exchange Module that will work with Microsoft Exchange Server 2000, 2003 and 2007 or Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) to expunge your system of spam before it gets delivered. Besides just fighting spam, the system can also generate analytics to show you just how much email it is stopping, how many users are on the system, and more.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source - Sitepoint

Opening Attachments in Outlook – Stopping Error Messages

When opening attachments directly in Outlook, have you received an error message?

It probably said something along the lines of needing to check the permissions on the folder in which you want to save it in.

Well that’s a bit of a red herring because the permissions are probably fine, it just means the folder is “full”.

How did it get so full?

Well, when you open an attachment within Outlook it first saves a copy to a subfolder of the Temporary Internet Files folder. Clearing out this folder should solve the problem.

Cleaning out the Outlook Secure Temp folder

Remember, this is IT so it’s not going to be as simple as it sounds.

The subfolder name Outlook creates (when it is first installed) in the Temporary Internet Files folder is random.

For example, in Outlook 2003 and earlier, it starts with OLK and followed by 4 random numbers or letters. In Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 it’s called “Content”. Outlook and then has a subfolder identified by 8 random numbers and letters.

As if that wasn’t annoying enough, by default you can’t browse to the folder and clear it out.

However, getting to your Temporary Outlook Folder can be done following these 2 easy steps.

1. Step 1 – Locate the folder

It’s location is stored in the registry in the following key (dependent on which version of Outlook you’re using):

Outlook 97 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 98 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.5\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2000 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2002/XP HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2003 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2007 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2010 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2013 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Security

2. Step 2 – Get access to the folder

These steps will help you gain access to the folder:

  • Open the “OutlookSecureTempFolder” registry key from the location provided in Step 1
  • Copy the path from the key
  • Open Explorer
  • Paste the address in the Address Bar and press Enter

Thank you to Howto-outlook.com for these useful tips.

If you’re struggling, fear not, they’ve created 2 free tools to do the job for you:

OutlookTools offers besides locating, opening and cleaning up the SecureTempFolder also quite a lot of additional features to troubleshoot and tweak Outlook.

OutlookTempCleaner focuses only on dealing with the SecureTempFolder and can also be used in (corporate) login and logoff scripts to clean up the folder without any end-user interaction.

Outlook tool

OutlookTempCleaner can detect and empty Outlook’s Secure Temp folder automatically for you.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Why Does Spamming Exist?

Spammers

Spam is an every day occurrence.

The fraudsters spend a lot of time honing their craft, developing devious spam messages that can trick even the toughest of spam filters.

They prey on the innocent, gullible, tired and those feeling every so slightly under the weather who aren’t concentrating as much as they should.

Once the word has got out about their latest scam, they devise even more cunning messages to try and trick even the most vigilant user to fall into their trap.

You probably think you’re pretty good at spotting any that slip through your filters. In fact, you probably wonder how on earth anyone actually falls for their lame attempts at masquerading as HMRC, or whatever other guise they take.

But, for the spammers to continue in their quest, it has to be worth their while.

It’s estimated that for every million spam messages sent only 3 people fall into the spammers trap. On the face of it that doesn’t sound a particularly profitable ratio. But when you consider there are could be in the region of 100 billion spam messages sent every day, that means 300,000 people are duped.

With figures like that spamming is unlikely to go away, which is why it’s important you remain vigilant when checking your email.

Anything that promises cheap items, get-rich-quick schemes or dodgy pictures is going to be spam. It’s easy to lose concentration when you’re tired or feeling under the weather, but don’t let that cloud your judgement. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

How to Change Your Email Address and Keep Your Friends

Changing your email address can be a nightmare.

Your old address is everywhere – in people’s address books, on old messages your friends have kept not to mention all those online sites where you’ve used your email as your user name when you created accounts.

So, yes, changing your email address is a complete pain.

But we’re here to help make the process slightly more bearable.

The first think you need to do is find out how long you can keep your old one and at what cost. It is worth keeping it for a month or so to help mop up any accounts or friends you may have missed.

Next, you have to tell everyone about your new address. The easiest way to do that is to send an email to everyone in your address book and:

  • Address the email to yourself
  • BCC everyone else (make sure you BCC so you don’t show all the email addresses)

Then set up your email client to receive messages from both accounts and, if possible, set up an auto responder to reply to any message coming in from the old address reminding them of your new one.

When it comes to the websites where you’ve used your email as your user name, there’s no easy way round that one. So you’ll just have to track them all down and change your account information.

Of course, if you’re in business, don’t forget to change your business cards, website, letter heads etc.

Changing your email address is a pain, but hopefully the above tips will help you achieve a smooth transition.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

New Email Accounts – Making the Switch Painlessly

Every now and then you will have to change your Internet service provider (ISP), usually changing email addressresulting in a change of email address.

Although on the face of it not an insurmountable task, it can be a pain, so here are a few tips to help you easily make the switch and reduce the need for future switching.

1. No lock in

If you’re moving from, let’s say BT to Virgin, you may be tempted to start using your new Virgin address. There’s no problem with that, but what happens a few years down the line if you change ISP again?

The best option is to start using a web-based email provider, like Gmail, that way you can use the same email address forever, regardless of how many times you change your ISP.

2. Tandem

Once you have your new email address, don’t cancel your old service straight away. Just think of all those online shop accounts you’ve set up. You’ll never remember all of them so keeping your account active for a few months should give you chance to catch all the important stuff you want to keep and move them to your new email address.

3. Notify

Go through your address book and notify all friends, family and other important people of your new email address. Make sure you ask them to delete the old one to reduce the risk of someone using it in error.

4. Reply to

If possible, change the ‘reply to’ address in your old email account to show your new email address. That way, if you reply to an old email, the recipient will be able to respond using your new address, helping the transition.

5. Auto-forward

You may also be able to auto-forward emails that come into your old address to your new one. Not all providers will allow this, but if yours does it will make your life a lot easier.

There you go, changing your email address doesn’t have to be difficult. These 5 simple steps will help make it as pain free as possible.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.
Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos

My BT Yahoo Email Account’s Not Working – Help!

Has your BT Yahoo email account stopped working?BT Yahoo email

If it has, you’re not alone.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had a number of calls from people telling us that a Yahoo account, that has been working quite happily for years, has suddenly stopped working.

It would appear that the problem was caused by hacking at the Yahoo server farm, which caused a lot of disruption. In fact so much that it was recently reported that BT has now dropped Yahoo as a supplier of this service.

So where does that leave you?

Well, BT has said that it will move its customers over to a new service called BT Mail, but as yet, no start date has been fixed.

If you’ve been affected, the best option is to set yourself up another email account and let your contacts know your new address.

Yes, we know, it’s not the most convenient cause of action, but right now it’s the best solution.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Watch Out For Fake DEA Emails

These days there are a whole host of phishing emails doing the rounds and now there’s a new one about.

A recent post on PCPro.co.uk warns of the latest scam to hit our in boxes. Just days after the UK Government outlined plans to introduce the Digital Economy Act (DEA), aimed at online piracy, phishing emails demanding money for breaches of copyright began doing the rounds.

The Government intends to send at least 3 warning letters to people deemed to be downloading copyright material, but these emails demand immediate payment.

An example of one of these emails was published by Becky Hogge, a writer and technologist who previously headed up the Open Rights Group.

The Open Rights Group published the full text of the email, which is riddled with http://www.mpmit.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/screen-shot-2012-06-29-at-17-59-09.pnggrammatical mistakes, but designed to look like an official letter. It stated:

“Such usage of your internet connection might have happened without your permission. However, your[sic] are legally responsible for the usage made of your internet connection…It is your responsibility to supervise your installation and to make sure that it is not accessible by third party.”

Remain vigilant

Sadly, there will always be people out there looking to make a quick buck by sending out this type of email.

To keep yourself safe, remain vigilant at all times and if something seems a bit phishy it probably is.

Remember:

  • Never click on a link in an email from a source you’re not sure about
  • Never open an attachment unless you know the sender or are expecting it
  • If you get an email demanding money, do some Google digging, don’t send it
  • If you’re unsure, search for company details online and make contact by phone or email – don’t phone the number listed or reply directly to the email