Category: Website Review

The Anti Phishing Club

The website is at http://antiphishing.club/ and twitter handle is @antiphishclub

The Anti-Phishing Club say that their website is dedicated to everyone on the World Wide Web, who wants to enjoy surfing without the harassment and fear caused by individuals committed to stealing information and money.

The Club promises:

  • To promote awareness of phishing and social engineering activities.
  • To try to provide the necessary tools and techniques to assist with staying safe online.
  • To provide extra resources on our links page.

They hope that you will find the information useful and that it will keep you safe online.

The website publishes articles (mostly lists of the top phishing scams), advice on how to spot phishing scams and a links page including information about Virtual Private Networks.

Their twitter feed is used for tips on staying safe online, protecting your privacy online and similar topics.

If you have any experiences with phishing do let me know, by email.

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The Anti Phishing Club

Engaging Works

This is a new set of Internet services at https://engaging.works created by Mark Price, the former Managing Director of Waitrose and Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership. He says that driven by his belief in the potential of happier employees to transform businesses, he has developed a set of simple tools for companies and individuals to use.

The most popular of these so far is the happiness survey.

It’s quick and easy to fill in and measures your happiness level at work compared to others in similar industries.

Marks believes the key factors for happy employees are:

  1. Job satisfaction
  2. Information Sharing
  3. Fair reward and recognition
  4. Empowerment
  5. Well-being
  6. Instilling Pride

There is also a career developer tool, mentor matching, online chats, messenger and more

Mark has big plans as he wants to challenge Facebook and others and he starts out with a belief that the customer’s data belongs to them not to him (unlike Facebook).

We’ll see how well he succeeds as he develops more tools in this market.

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Stop Badware

https://www.stopbadware.org/

The site claims that “Our work protects people and organizations from becoming victims of viruses, spyware, scareware, and other badware”. That sounds useful.

The StopBadware project started at Harvard University and was turned into an independent nonprofit organization in 2010.

What is Badware?

Badware is software that overrides a user’s choice about how his or her computer or network connection will be used.

Some badware is specifically designed for criminal, political, and/or mischievous purposes.

These purposes might include:

  • stealing bank account numbers, passwords, company secrets, or other confidential information
  • tricking the user into buying something that they don’t need
  • sending junk email (spam)
  • sending premium text messages from a mobile device
  • attacking other computers to prevent them functioning properly
  • distributing badware to other computers

Badware is sometimes referred to as malware. It includes viruses, Trojans, rootkits, botnets, spyware, scareware, and more.

The StopBadware programme:

 

  • provides Internet users with important and timely information about badware
  • helps website owners, particularly individuals and small businesses, protect their sites from badware; offers resources and community support to owners of compromised sites
  • engages web hosts and other key service providers to help them effectively and transparently address badware websites within their zones of control
  • encourages companies to proactively share data and knowledge with one another; leads collaborative information-sharing efforts that create greater security for all stakeholders
  • conducts high-impact research on malicious websites, cybersecurity econometrics, and critical infrastructure, to name just a few

Some badware may not have malicious intentions, but still takes away the user’s control.

For example, a browser toolbar that helps you shop online more effectively but does not mention that it will send a list of everything you buy online to the company that provides the toolbar. In this case, you are unable to make an informed decision about whether to install or use this software.

Another example is when you install a piece of software, and that software installs additional software that you weren’t expecting. This can be especially troubling if the additional software does something you dislike or doesn’t uninstall when you remove the original software.

STOP BADWARE!

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The Pension Wise Service

https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk

In these days of pension fraud, if you’re over 55, it is wise to assess your pension situation using government advice.

The website Pension Wise was set-up by government to provide free advice

They say they can help you if:-

  • you are aged 50 or over
  • have a personal or workplace pension
  • want to make sense of your options

There is plenty of advice on the site from what happens if you live abroad to taxation to the different ways you can take money from your pension pot.

There’s also advice on how to avoid the pension scammers.

If you feel the need to talk to an expert, there are free calls of up to 60 minutes that can be booked.

If you need pension advice – this website is a good start.

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The Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams

https://againstromancescams.org/

The Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams (SCARS) claim to represent more than 25,000 people, dedicated to changing the world of online fraud for the sake of everyone.

SCARS aspires to be the global organization to coordinate political advocacy, public education and avoidance programs, have an enforcement focus, support victims and promote recovery programs, and establish best practices and standards throughout the world. “A Beacon In The Darkness”.

That’s quite a mission.

SCARS

The focus of the Society is to:

  • Consolidate the voices of many into a single voice.
  • Work for the creation and implementation of universal standards and practices that provide effective and ethical anti-scam activities
  • Engage government, law enforcement, and victims globally in new methods to aggressively combat online fraud.
  • Create the first worldwide Anti-Scam Data Reporting Network with industry partners for real time exposure of fraudsters
  • Develop support and recovery solutions for traumatized victims based upon the best methods employed in the private and public sectors.

SCARS Membership:

For Individuals: join in the transformation that will begin to bring an end to the uncontrolled reign of online fraud. As additional benefits are added you will automatically be eligible.

For Professionals: you will be able to take advantage of numerous committees and their work product to improve your skills. In the future we will develop accredited continuing educational courses. Additionally you will become a part of a network of professional practitioners in victim’s support, investigation, and related practices available for certification.

For Groups and Organizations: you will have access to accreditation and certification processes to improve your services and offerings, and demonstrate to the public your degree of superior practices.

Professional Links

SCARS claims to be the only anti-online fraud non-governmental organization recognized by governments around the world and partners with a various important authorities, including:-

  • The United States Department of Homeland Security
  • Recognized Victims Assistance Organization
  • S. Department of Justice Office of Victims of Crime
  • S. DoJ OVC National Census Of Victim Service Providers
  • NCVC Victim Connect Program
  • NOVA – National Organization for Victim Assistance
  • SCARS Is a member of The European Union’s Council Of Europe Octopus Cybercrime Organization

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Identify Ransomware

If you are hit by Ransomware, you need to block off the attack by removing Internet access from your PCs and  servers,  stop any encryption processes in progress and any other processes running that shouldn’t be running.

Then the first stage of investigation is to identify what you’re facing and the website https://id-ransomware.malwarehunterteam.com/ is a good starting point.

You upload one encrypted file or the file that is the ransom message to this website and it will try to identify the variant of ransomware. Currently it can identify more than 500  different variants.

For each there is extra information which can tell you if there are decryption keys available on the Internet.

Some anti-hackers try to find the decryption keys and post them freely, but the blackmailers do know this and try to stay of ahead of them by using new variants for which there are no keys available except for the one held by the blackmailer.

The website is run purely as a free service to the public and does not decrypt files for you – you need an IT  professional for that (assuming it’s possible as many cannot be decrypted without a key from the blackmailer)

If you have a suspected virus rather than ransomware then there is a website that may help to identify it  at https://www.virustotal.com

As always, the advice is that it’s best to avoid being held to ransom – ensure you have adequate systems protection in place, staff that have been educated on the danger of cyber attacks, regular backups (including off-site) and have a plan in place to deal with a ransomware attack.

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