choose your weapon…(part 2-read last)

Cellphones

Image by Stéfan via Flickr

In my rush to publish this information I posted the problem before the solution. So if you haven’t read at it again…cyber crooks, click on the title and get the low-down. Then come on back for author Sid Kirchheimer’s suggestions for tackling these no good, freeloading…!#%&*…so and so’s!!!

So here’s your defense:

  • Don’t reply. Even sending a “remove” or “stop” response to a smishing text tells scammers that your number is active, meaning you may get more messages.
  • Don’t click on links in texts sent to you by unknown parties.
  • Block suspicious numbers. Your cellphone provider may be able to block numbers wher the texts and calls originate.
  • Your bank is texting you? Look up its number yourself–don’t trust the one provided in the text–and call.
  • Don’t store credit card and account login information in emailos or notes on the phone.
  • Set your phone to time out and lock after a short period. If it’s stolen, thieves won’t get personal information.
  • Install updates. When you receive a bona fide notification of an upgrade to your phone’s software, install it immediately. If you doubt the message is legitimate, call your cell or app provider.
Show Me Your Cellphone Wallpaper

Image by Sister72 via Flickr

…advantages…and disadvantages…to everything…including cellphones…

………hugmamma.

 

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still at it…cyber crooks (part 1-read first)

The latest scam in an ongoing attempt by some to free-load, involves our cell phones. The other day my husband received a text, supposedly from Wells Fargo Bank explaining his credit card had been blocked. He was asked to call a number. He deleted the message knowing it was a scam, for he is not a credit card holder with WFB. Because our young adult children are perennial texters, and still “wet behind the ears” to the evils of this world in many ways, I thought it important to run the AARP article written by Sid Kirchheimer, author of Scam-Proof Your Life.

Smstextmessage

Image via Wikipedia

Texting Trickery 
     Your cellphone chimes–a text message has come in. It bears your bank’s name and has some disturbing news. One of your accounts has been frozen. Please call us at the following number to clear this up, urges the message.
     You’ve just been “smished.”
    
An offshoot of “phishing”–emails that try to trick you into disclosing personal or financial information–smishing is named for the SMS (short message service) technology used to send text messages. (There’s even another variation, “vishing.” Instead of a text message, you get a call with a recorded voice.)
     As more people have gotten wise to computer based scams, scammers are increasingly targeting cell phones. Their users are three times more likely to fall for fake messages than computer users, according to online security firm Trusteer; iPhone users are the most vulnerable.
     When you call the number the text gives you for your bank, you’re actually connecting to the scammers, who ask for your account number, PIN, Social Security number–the raw material of identify theft.
     Bogus bank alerts lead in smishing attacks. But you may also get texts promising a free laptop, mortgage assistance or lottery winnings. A message may just say, “Short on cash? Reply here!” One new come-on is a supposed free security app to get you to click on a link that in fact downloads identity-stealing software to your phone.
     Whatever the method, the goal is the same: to get your personal information and money.
     The Federal Trade Commission recently moved against a firm that was allegedly offering phony government loans by text. Five and a half million text messages were sent to cellphones in just 40 days–roughly 85 per minute, according to the commission. The firm also is alleged to have sold the numbers of people who replied asking to be removed from the list.

Cover of "Scam-Proof Your Life: 377 Smart...

Cover via Amazon

…what to do?…follow me…to part 2 of this post…

………hugmamma.     

japan, an editorial opinion

As if reading my mind, the following editorial opinion “Sturdy Japanwas in today’sWall Street Journal. I’ve reprinted it here in its entirety.

No nation escapes unscathed from an earthquake of the magnitude that struck Japan yesterday. At least 1,000 people have died. For all that damage, it is remarkable how well this island nation of more than 126 million people has withstood the fifth largest earthquake since 1900. Registering a stunning 8.9, the earthquake near Sendai produced a 30-foot high tsunami that hurtled toward some 53 countries.

Despite these powerful forces, one cannot help but note how relatively well prepared the Japanese were to survive such an assault from mother Earth. Japan stands, literally, as a testament to how human planning and industrialized society can cope with natural disasters.

A country that experiences hundreds of subterranean vibrations annually, Japan has been earthquake-proofing its buildings since an 8.4 earthquake in 1891. Until 1965, Japan limited the height of buildings to a little over 100 feet, but with the pressure of urban populations, the height limit was lifted. Japan’s wood residential houses were vulnerable to a tsunami on the coast, but its tall buildings seem to have held up well against the quake.

Minatomirai, Yokohama Japan See where this pic...

Image via Wikipedia

In 1993, the Yokohama Landmark Tower was completed at 971 feet tall, a remarkable height in a country prone to serious earthquakes. It was only possible to erect such a building if one had the skills and wealth to access the most sophisticated techniques of modeling and engineering.

In late 2007, the Japanese completed the world’s most sophisticated early warning system for earthquakes, which was credited Friday with signaling Tokyo’s residents–via TV, radio and cellphone–that a quake was coming. The warning system gives industrial, energy and transportation facilities time to shut down before a quake hits. The biggest concern as we went to press was the ability to cool the reactor cores at nuclear power plants that were shut down automatically as the earthquake hit. The U.S. is sending some coolant materials.

阪神淡路大震災(東急ハンズあたり)

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Japan now faces significant rebuilding, but less than could have been expected after enduring its strongest tremblor in 300 years. We’d now expect that similar warning systems would be developed and installed in the rest of the world’s quake-prone nations.

Contrast this preparation with poor Haiti or the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China, which killed some 70,000 people. Haiti has the excuse of abject poverty caused by decades of misrule. China has wealth but a government answerable only to itself. Sometimes the hard phrase, invidious comparison, is apt. After its disastrous Kobe earthquake in 1995, Japan instituted a multitude of reforms.

Japan itself has experienced some bad press of late. Its economic growth is stagnant, and its inept political class has become an embarrassment to its great population of productive citizens. But make no mistake. Japan remains a great industrial power. Despite the destructive effects of yesterday’s quake, the self-protective benefits of Japan’s achievement as a modern nation was hard not to notice.

supports my theory that the japanese work hard to sustain themselves…through good times…and bad…hugmamma.