Friday, June 23, 2006

Email follies

I've railed about this for many years, so why not once more? I received an email this morning that looked legitimate. It was from my bank. Since I don't open suspicious emails (my bank has never emailed me before), I looked at the information in the "from" and "subject" lines, then went to the bank website. Front and center, in bold red type, was an alert about an email phishing scam. I clicked the link to find out that anyone who opened the email and followed the instructions, which was to give out personal information, had just been victimized by the scam.

Without trying to sound arrogant, why can't everybody do what I did? Never open any emails that seem strange? Open only emails you are expecting, or from friends and co-workers who regularly send you email. No exceptions. I wonder how many people stupidly lost their personal info by opening that supposed bank email, and how many of them will now lose their identity, credit, and who knows what else.

Ultimately the scammer is to blame, but the idiot Shaved Apes (you, we) need to take responsibility for our own computer security. As I've said before, these kinds of scams are in their second decade. How can anyone not know how to avoid them? I have ZERO pity for anybody who falls for a phishing scam. None. Nada. Zed.

And my second issue of the day is my bank's link to more information about the scam. It was red and eye-catching, as it should be, but when I clicked on it I was stuck with a PDF file. This is such a strong pet peeve of mine it's included on my list of things that piss me off. What idiot web developer thought it was OK to link to a PDF without a warning? I despise PDF files as worthless crap. Whenever I load one my processor pegs at 100% for 1-2 minutes, and I lose control of my browser (and entire PC) for about three minutes. This is infuriating. Fuck PDFs once and for all.

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To recap: If you get a virus or fall victim to a phishing scam via email, you deserve it because you are a dumbass. You have no brain, so you probably think with your colon. If you don't do what I did above, you just can't learn so you should give up technology. And, if you design or manage websites, put a note that a link leads to a PDF file or I'll never return, and hopefully a few million of my buddies will do the same. It's common courtesy. Besides, what information can't be served up in HTML, which is fast and mostly free of problems?

1 comment:

cheeser-johnson-from-wisconsin said...

But the e-mail promised me a free cheese and meat tray for completing the information!