Internet Fraud: If Users Were Just Wiser

We hear so much about Internet fraud happening online, but sadly so much of the fraud could be stopped if users just stopped and thought a bit. I read yesterday in the NY Times, about someone who received fake money orders from his “online” lover in Nigeria – only to find out that the money orders were fake after the fake money orders were discovered while he was trying to cash them at the post office.

I want to feel sorry for the guy – but this guy’s love or lust was really causing him to do something very, very unwise. Before engaging in commerce (online or offline) please think carefully about what you are doing and contribute to stopping criminal activity.
Robert MacMillan of the Washington Post writes I’ve written lots about how the average computer user doesn’t care much about how many gigs of memory his computer has. He just wants to know whether it works fast enough to surf the Internet. The average user probably isn’t too sure what “defragging” is all about, and I’ve always said that he shouldn’t have to. There are a million other terms that form the basic computer lexicon, but what most computer users want to know is how to turn a machine on and off and how to do the things they bought a computer for in the first place.
But average users need to do something else — get familiar with protecting their computers against outside threats and do it now. I don’t mean burglars coming in through their windows, I mean online thieves coming in through their Windows. For several years now, the rate of identity theft, virus and worms attacks and straight-up online theft of credit cards and other financial data has risen exponentially. The Times piece reminds us that online crime is hot because most computer users still don’t realize that they’re sitting ducks.