Internet safety


Posted by tduong2014 | Posted in Blogging Challenges! | Posted on May 13, 2011

As we all know, Internet is excessively useful to people of all ages, providing a worldwide connection as well as an immense amount of information and entertainment to the people at anytime. As the internet and social network technologies getting more advanced everyday, criminals are taking advantages, over-exploit the internet and use the it as a tool to do their illegal activities. Detecting, catching and correctly punishing the Internet criminals is a challenge for the law enforcement officials, because the crime may involved many different people from different areas of the world. Just like the physical world, there are many different types of Internet crimes including hacking, spamming, identity theft, cyberbullying/stalking, scam… This report will discussed specifically about a type of internet crimes: identity theft (phishing)

Identity theft
A very common type of Internet crime is identity theft (or called id theft). Online id theft happens when a person unauthorized access and uses someone else ’s identity & online accounts for their personal purposes, usually for financial gain. Identity theft can take in many different forms such as spoofing, phishing, pharming.
As mentioned, phishing is one of the many methods for online identity theft. It happens when a criminal sends out emails or pop-up warnings to draw you into visiting their fake website that disguised a real, trustworthy company’s website to make you reveal your personal information such as account numbers or password. Those phishing emails usually target in urging the people to reconfirm their account information, with a warning that their account will be terminate at a certain time if no reconfirmation is taken. Even computer security experts sometimes have hard times telling the real websites from the fake ones.
Below is an example of phishing emails warning pop-ups. People usually look at the URL of the real website and the URL that was given to verify their account, the two are slightly different (1st e.g.). Sometimes the URL is not displayed, making the victims become clueless if they are being phished or not (2nd e.g.)

By Michael Sauers under licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

According to Anti-Phishing Working Group, from April to June in 2010, the number of reports they received of phishing attacks are gradually increasing, from 24, 664 to 33,617.

Online id theft can result in financial loss or huge debt that the victims did not conduct. Even though most of the identity theft take place by the traditional offline ways, and online id theft is only takes small percentage of the overall, but it’s still a growing problem. Less than 12 % of ID fraud were originated online, according to 2005 Identity Fraud Survey Report

This post is for Challenge 6 in the March 2011 challenge.

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