Category: Website Review

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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Trust Pilot Customer Reviews

https://uk.trustpilot.com

Trustpilot is an online review community founded in Denmark in 2007 by  Peter Holten Mühlmann.

The website has more than 32 million reviews of 179,000 businesses and 1,000,000 new reviews each month created by 45,000 reviewers each day. So you can see this is a serious business and also that there must be a huge need for unbiased reviews of businesses.

Trustpilot “believe that people’s voices should be heard, which is why we’re dedicated to helping everyone share their genuine experiences. We’re committed to being the most trusted online review community on the market. Genuine reviews written by consumers are published instantly without censoring, and businesses can see and reply to them”

TrustPilot say they have zero tolerance for fraud and investigate any reported misuse

How Does TrustPilot Make Money?

They offer a series of packages to businesses for a monthly subscription.

The key sales points for these are:-

  • Connect with your customers by collecting reviews
  • Automate a review collection process seamlessly into your customer journey.
  • Build trust on a platform for both businesses and customers
  • Gather feedback and interact with customers on an independent website consumers trust.
  • Showcase your reputation where it matters
  • Amplify your presence across all channels including search, social, paid, and offline media.

The four business plans are:-

Free Plan £ 0 PER MONTH Lite Plan £ 149 PER MONTH (PAID ANNUALLY) Pro Plan £ 349 PER MONTH (PAID ANNUALLY) Enterprise Plan  CONTACT TO GET A QUOTE
Collect & respond to Trustpilot reviews for free. Showcase reviews on your website & clearly demonstrate marketing ROI. Give your marketing & sales a significant boost with a wide range of customizable tools. Full access to Trustpilot Business with superior integrations, data protection & account management.

 

If you want to build trust for your company. Then Trust Pilot  may be able to help.

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Strange Happenings at romancescams.org

Romancescams.org was set-up some time ago to warn people about the many varieties of romance based scams that go on.

There is a lot of information to help people to avoid being scammed, but recently the site seems to have been taken over by a business that advertises dating sites.

These are legitimate sites, so no real problem but it is odd that such a business would acquire a scam warning site.

The scam warnings are still on the site but there are also lists of reviews of dating sites and recommendations on dating sites to use.

Perhaps it was a temporary issue but the Report a Scam button didn’t work for me.

Do you know anything of what’s going on with this site? Let me know.

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