How to Lose Money on the Internet

By | September 29, 2010

It seems that the second you open your e-mail, you’re barraged with get-rich-quick schemes. Sure. Sure. Sure. There’s easy money to be made on the Internet. And if you believe that there’s a bridge in Brooklyn (currently under construction) that is for sale. So in this post, we thought that we would offer up some great ways to lose money on the Internet.

Of course, if your company used BlueCava, you would be able to identify the devices that are trying to scam you, and, using your better judgment, not get scammed.

1. Nigerian Email Scams – In the words of Michael Scott, “When the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly, asking for help – you help!” You know what I’m talking about… The ones that start with DEAR SIR/MADAM, Some prince died somewhere and we’ve traced this oil inheritance back to you, and all we need is for you to send us a check so we can then forward you your untold riches. Who falls for these anymore? (Other than Michael, of course.) There are even sites out there dedicated to poking fun of the criminals who send these emails out to you. It’s always fun to make fun of fraudsters, but it’s even better to stop them.

2. Phishing – If you’ve ever received an email or Facebook message from a person who doesn’t normally send you messages (e.g., “Check out this hilarious video!”), and the link directs you to input your Facebook information again, you’re being phished. Like all of the other phishing scams, the URL is usually the biggest giveaway – in a Facebook phishing scam, for example, it might be something like http://facebook.somerandomscamsite.co.bz. Once these phishers get a hold of your Facebook login and password, there’s a good probability that this same username/password combo will work in other financial accounts. Of course, the first line of defense starts with individual Internet users—so vary your passwords, people. The second line of defense could be BlueCava’s Device Identification Platform, which is sophisticated enough to help companies flag any device engaging in suspicious, dare I say it, “phishy” activity.

3. BotNets – Chances are you’ve used a computer that has, at one point, been infected by a botnet. A botnet is a mass of PCs (owned and operated by you and me) on which a hacker secretly installs software. Once installed, the hacker can login to the computer at any time without the user even knowing (with the exception of maybe a slight reduction in processor speed). Most computer viruses that make headlines are designed to create or augment the size of botnets. So, how do these hackers make money? They steal critical financial information or send e-mail spam to lure you in. Of course, BlueCava’s Device Identification Platform is one way companies can stop doing business with potentially infected computers. As a result, this will help keep your financial information secure.

4. Procrastination – This money-sucker is the granddaddy of them all. We’re all guilty of this. We receive an email forward, one of our friends posts some pictures of his vacation, something’s happening with our favorite sports team, the celeb we love (or love to hate) is in the news for one reason or another, and we CLICK THE LINK! In isolation, each instance doesn’t look too time consuming, but it all adds it up. It’s quite an issue for companies with legions of e-nabled associates.

By Dean Harris, CMO of BlueCava

Category: Uncategorized

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