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Home > Culture and Society

The TFT Guide To... Online Crime

15 October 2006

This week the BBC highlighted the problem of online crime, reporting that computers can be attacked every 12 minutes by various online criminals. So how can you avoid being a victim of online crime? TFT advises...


1) Look out for the hallmark of spammers and phishers - atrocious spelling and grammar, often because they are from eastern European countries. If an email says 'Zdravstvujte! Sending details me of your credit card number you must IMEDIATALLY! Thankings you! Zhelayu vsego khoroshego!', it may not be from Mastercard.

2) Avoid being duped by the Nigerian banking scam by not being stupid enough to believe that the president of Nigeria is happy to entrust his personal fortune to fuckwits who spend all their waking hours playing Java games, posting illiterate messages in chat groups and sending each other 'amusing' pictures of Marge Simpson naked.

3) Protect your computer by using anti-spyware and anti-virus programs, updating them regularly, installing a firewall and making sure updates to your operating system are installed. That and not downloading software of obviously dubious origins, e.g., an 'ass-to-mouth' facial cumshots screensaver.

4) Fake security programs often pose as spyware cleaners. Spot bogus anti-spyware software by looking for subtle clues such as your computer taking 120 minutes to open a window, your computer closing down completely or a long, painful screaming noise seeping slowly from your open mouth.

5) Remember that Internet fraudsters often entice unwary surfers with offers that are simply too good to be true, such as bargain goods and services. However, don't confuse these with adverts that offer you a free laptop if you simply cast a vote as to whether Paris Hilton is 'hotter' than Jessica Simpson. These are completely bona fide and a great way of obtaining hundreds of free laptops.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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