KC News

How To Stop Unwanted Junk Faxes

If you have a fax machine, you've probably received annoying ads that you didn't ask for.

Like junk mail and spam e-mail, "junk faxes" are another way businesses waste our time and invade our privacy. Problems created by "junk faxing" include:

 

  • Blocked Communication. All fax machine owners can have important communications disrupted by junk faxes.
  • Shifted Costs, Environmental Waste. Junk fax recipients pay for wasted paper as well as the ink and electricity required to print the unwanted ads.
  • Lost Business. A fax machine cannot receive orders and other business correspondence when junk faxes tie up its phone line.
  • Lost Sleep. Some automated junk fax systems ring fax numbers day and night. The ringing can wake people who have fax machines at home.
  • Lost Time. Faxes are potentially urgent documents, but a junk fax is a let down and a waste of time.
Often, junk faxes have no business name or address, and even if there is a number to call to be removed from the junk faxer's "list," it takes up a lot of time to call for every ad received.

 

Junk faxing in the U.S. is illegal under federal law, but many junk faxers continue to ignore the law.

Learn how to use the law that lets you sue advertisers for at least $500 per unwanted fax!

Here's how to do it:

1. Save and date your faxes.

2. Identify offenders.

3. Find out if the business has been cited by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and file a complaint.

4. Send demand letters.

5. Sue in small claims court.

6. Sue in state court.

Good luck fighting back!

Further resources:

Reduce Junk Mail
http://www.kahl.net/reduce/

JUNK FAXES Stealing Time, Resources and Privacy


 


'PHARMING' - New Twist on 'Phishing' Scam

"The pharmers are coming! The pharmers are coming!" Hang warning lanterns all over the Internet: It's under attack by a new scam.

For years users have been hearing about "phishing," the sending of bogus e-mails - allegedly from a bank or other online business. Those who click on a link in the e-mail are shipped off to a phony but authentic-looking site and asked to enter sensitive information. If they type in their passwords or account numbers, thieves have that data.

Now phishers have been joined by "pharmers," who have made the ruse more sophisticated by planting a seed of malicious software in the user's own computer - or poisoning servers that direct traffic on the Internet. The result: Even if you type in the correct address of a website, the software can send you to a bogus one.

Phishing attacks require participation of the victims who must click on a link within an e-mail. But not clicking on such links is no protection against a pharming attack.

Here's how the scam works. The URL you use, such as www.my-bank.com, is connected to a distinct numerical IP address. Pharming replaces the number with a fraudulent one, sending you to a criminal site instead of the real one.

Besides keeping antivirus and antispyware programming up to date on their PC, users have few other ways to defend themselves from pharming.

Any site conducting financial transactions should be able to maintain a secure website. The corner of the browser should display a padlock symbol, and the address in the address bar should begin with "https," not simply "http." Click on the lock symbol and make sure it displays the address you are expecting to be at.

Another kind of pharming, sometimes called "domain spoofing," "domain poisoning," or "cache poisoning," attacks the servers that route traffic around the Internet. These so-called domain name system (DNS) servers also link the word address to its underlying numerical address.

To corrupt a DNS takes significantly more expertise than attacking PCs. Thieves first will try to get into individual computers.

The Internet was designed to make sharing of information between scholars and researchers fast and easy, not for secure financial transactions. Now new layers of security continually must be added, as criminals probe for weak points.

Phishers and pharmers set up their fake websites for only a few days or even a few hours, then move on before they can be found out.

But even if crooks can't get at your PC or the DNS server, they can always hope that you just can't spell.

Example: a malicious website was set up at www.googkle.com, just one keystroke away from www.google.com. Users who accidentally went to the site (using the Internet Explorer browser) were inundated with spyware, adware, and other malicious software that tried to secretly load itself onto their PCs. Similar attack sites have been created just a slip of the finger away from sites such as CNN.com, AOL.com, and MSN.com.

The people behind the malicious sites can be anywhere. The PC operating the site could be "somebody's grandmother's computer" being remotely controlled without her knowledge.

"Phishing" FACTS:

• Since 2004, the number of sites linked to the scam rose an average 28 percent a month.

• The US hosted a third of the phishing sites - more than any other nation - followed by China (12 %) and South Korea (9 %).

• Financial services are the most frequent target.

• Scam sites only last an average 5.8 days before they're taken down.

Christian Science Monitor May 05, 2005


Also check out KC Virus & Hoax Alert at:

http://www.kahl.net/hoax

UPDATE:

This website is good source for phishing news - if you get a "phishy" email look for it here:
http://www.millersmiles.co.uk/


T Clock Light - Great Add on for Windows Taskbar

TClock Light is a very handy applications that allows you to modify the clock on the taskbar in Windows.

Highly recommended!

Free download here

Instructions:
1. download
2. unzip to a directory (e.g., C:\Program files\TClockLight\)
3. create a shortcut to tclock.exe in your START | All Programs | *Startup* folder
4. reboot
5. right-click on your taskbar clock and select "TClock Properties", then "Clock | Format"
6. Configure to your liking.


Paying by Fingerprint at the Supermarket

Customers of a German supermarket chain will soon be able to pay for their shopping by placing their finger on a scanner at the check-out, saving the time spent scrabbling for coins or cards.

An Edeka store in the southwest German town of Ruelzheim has piloted the technology since November and now the company plans to equip its stores across the region.

"All customers need do is register once with their identity card and bank details, then they can shop straight away," said store manager Roland Fitterer.

The scanner compares the shopper's fingerprint with those stored in its database along with account details.

Edeka bosses said they were confident the system could not be abused.

Fingerprint templates are stored on a local server which manufacturers say cannot be accessed from outside but some consumer groups are concerned about security issues.

"We see the risks that arise from the data-gathering and also the insecurity factor which is inherent in this process, as more serious than the advantages," said Evelyn Kessler, spokesperson of the Consumer Advice Centre in the Baden-Wuerttemberg region.

Source: Fingerprint billing for Germans