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Tips To Spot Fake Websites

A few days ago my Yahoo e-mail account got deactivated. It was never an inactive account to start with. I have no idea how it might come to that since i often use it. In fact, i even emailed my younger sister a day before it got deactivated. The next day, i was confused that i can no longer access my account. When i tried to search for my Yahoo profile, i got worried because the result say that the page i was trying to view was not available. I tried the Help section but after filling out the necessary information, it said the account was deactivated.
How come?!#@%^ I did not do it and i never told anyone about my password either.
Yeah, i was just an email account. i would not make a fuss over it if only i don't have some things important stored in Yahoo Photos. I downloaded lots of pictures there - from years back. I got some of my underwater and mountain trekking photos since 2004, pictures with my friends and family, which i still was not able to get printed yet. To think i even just borrowed a digital camera for most of those pictures. It got me so sad not being able to those memories in print. =(

So after some thought, i remembered i did not actually write the Yahoo URL on the address bar, instead i clicked a search link for it. Could i really be a victim of a phishing site disguising as a Yahoo email account that eventually deactivated my account? I am not really 100% sure, but then maybe. I made some searches in the net and came up with these 6 infos on how to spot a fake website. I am sure many of old time bloggers and internet techies know these already, but for those newbies (like me!) who would "accidentally" stumble on my page, well, i hope you'll get a thing or two.

1. There are Phishers and Pharmers - Be aware that these are the two forms of identity theft are at the forefront in internet piracy. Phishers lures surfers to fake Websites and trick them in divulging sensitive information. While pharmers hijack web addresses and re-route surfers to impostor sites by using Trojan horse to send you to the fake site. Either way, the address you're sent to appears correct but the information you provide could end up in the wrong hands.

2. Consider the source - There are things you can do to be more certain that a site is authentic. If you typed in the address yourself, its more likely the site is legitimate. if you followed a link from within an email, there is a greater chance the site is fake. If the email was unsolicited or contains unusual sense of urgency, don't click links. Delete the email and contact the company or organization to verify their request for information.

3. Check the address - Some imposters try to imitate site using alternative spelling or a different domain extension like .edu or .biz rather than .com, hoping that people won't notice. Scrutinize the address of any website requesting for information. If the domain name does not match the name of the organization, or if it's spelled strangely or if the adress begins with a string of numbers, it may be fake.

4. Trust only secure sites - When you get to a page where you have to fill in your credit card number or personal information, check for a lock icon and for the URL beginning with https rather than http.
5. Check certificates - When you're on a secured site, make sure the site's certificate is legit. Your browser will automatically check it. If there's irregularities, your browser will alert you, but if it doesn't you can always clicked the locked icon to launch a window containing certificate info. Review these 3 things:
* The name of the authority issuing the certificate. Do some research to verify if it can be trusted.
* The name of the certificate owner. if the owner is not the name on the company's website do not use the site to send information.
* The expiration date. If the certificate had expired or has an unusually long expiration dtae do not trust the site. Most are just 1 - 2 years.

6. Security software - Good security software can help you avoid fake Web site scam like Norton antivirus 2007 which has an advanced features as it not only detects and removes viruses, spyware, and worms but also blocks these treats before they get into your computer and harm you.

Having learned it now, my only consolation was that even if my email was hacked, my Paypal and e-gold accounts info where not in that email account anymore as i have transfered it to other mail accounts 2 weeks prior to this incident, if ever, then my earnings from my money making sites would be sabotage.


  1. Tay said...

    I am really sorry you lost your email and those photos - in fact I have a lot of photos stored too from my digital camera that I would also lose forever. I would be devastated.

    However, this is a really great, helpful blog post you have here. I enjoyed reading it. :)

    And that's a good thing your passwords or Paypal or anything weren't saved in there. Some of my things like that are, maybe I should consider moving them...

    Happy blogging!
    cristlegirl said...
    This is some great advice and something that not many people would think about as links to yahoo are all over the place.
    Syaf The Geek said...
    Well I've experienced this before and as you already know, Yahoo! email account also integrate with Yahoo! Messenger account and such. It's just a pain in the @#$ why all of the sudden my account have been blocked by Yahoo! Everything has gone, I mean everything! Damn it! Hehe sorry for that.

    Anyway, my good advice is use other IE alternative as your prime internet browser such as Firefox and Opera. These two really really good in identifying those phishing or scam sites. Trust me.
    mayenskie said...
    hi syaf,

    i just had Opera other than Firefox now, i downloaded it from your blog link. Ohh how i love the speed dial feature!
    Syaf The Geek said...
    Heheh cool. Use either one of them but I use 4 browsers now. Just to test whether it is good for anyone or not. Hhehe//
    Elin said...
    It is best detail provided for picking out all scams.
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    Bravo, your idea it is magnificent
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