Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let's go Phishing

Scams, like the example below, get more and more clever as technology advances. Everywhere from "sharing" viruses to stealing money, people are trying harder and harder to make sure their presentations and tricks are convincing. The shock factor is a great hook for scams like these. "WHAT! I spent HOW MUCH????!!!! How did?!... What!... wait a minute..."

This is just a cautionary reminder that these e-mails are intended to shock you into clicking that seemingly friendly link that will lead you into despair. I encourage you to avoid clicking that link, at all costs. Instead, check your bank account. The first indication that an e-mail like this is a scam: You have no idea where this e-mail came from (an unfamiliar website, or a purchase you never made, or a ridiculous amount of money spent). The closest second indication: your bank account is fine, absolutely fine. 

Something important to remember: keep track of where you shop, what sites you use, and who has your credit card information. If an e-mail is in the "none of the above" slot, and your bank account is untouched, then just delete the e-mail or mark it as spam, and move on. Take a deep breath, don't worry. It was just a hungry ole "phisherman," but you avoided the hook!

Hook and Lure #1:
From: Data Processing Service <>
Date: March 21, 2013, 10:21:54 AM CDT
Subject: ACH file ID "596.553"  has been aborted
SUCCESS Information

We have successfully complete ACH file 'ACH2013-03-20-5.txt' (id '596.553')
submitted by user                             on '2013-03-20 20:07:62.1'.
Item count: 41
Total debits: $27,312.13
Total credits: $27,312.13
For addidional details    browse this link

 Hook and Lure #2:

From: [] On Behalf Of                       
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:23 PM
Subject: BBC-Email: While we read of Cyprus, US Government prepares 10% Deposit tax! Exlusive!

                      saw this story on the BBC News website and thought you should see it.

** While we read of Cyprus, US Government prepares 10% Deposit tax! Exlusive! ** Cyprus can amend terms to a bailout deal that has sparked huge public anger....
< >

** BBC Daily E-mail **
Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all in one daily e-mail
< >

** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.

If you do not wish to receive such e-mails in the future or want to know more about the BBC's Email a Friend service, please read our frequently asked questions by clicking here

_End Hook and Lure #2_ 

Some scams are easy to see, but some of them come from what we may think are trusted websites and names. Make sure to never click on anything if you aren't sure about it. If it comes from a trusted site, close the e-mail, open a separate tab or browser, and go to your account, to the original site, and check on it that way. Be a smart, slippery fish, not easily caught by these slimy -but sometimes shiny- luring hooks. 

Have a Blessed Day!

The Fly

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Human Progress

As I fly around IT and watch the variety of people that walk in and out of the doors, I cannot help but think about how broad a spectrum technology covers. Information Technology serves every department on campus, from biology labs to civil engineering to education. I am continuously fascinated by the variety of people that walk in, or call in, asking for help from our department. 

Technology exists in every field. Technology can be a great resource for advancement and progress, such as improvements in the classroom experience and more effective online learning. However, it can also be used for harmful or even malicious intents, like spam or world domination. While some advances in technology may eventually make certain controversies obsolete, other advances will bring more controversy to our attention. The following videos are TED Talks about some recent ideas and technologies that are being developed and have the potential to revolutionize our world and our individual lives. The length of the video shouldn't deter you from watching, the topics are fascinating:

(Tissue engineering from human skin cells)

(A new look at energy efficiency)

As I watch videos like these, I get excited about research and advances in science and technology. Our world is ever-changing, and the improvements that have been and can be made are fascinating and enthralling. However, there is a part of every person that feels a small amount of fear when new ideas are spread. I think it is important to recognize that this fear of the unknown is common, natural, and human; and it is not entirely unfounded. Sometimes the unknown turns out more dangerous than expected. 

However, exploration of the unknown has also brought incredible advances in our world (i.e. space exploration, energy technology, online learning). Fear of the unknown has been a part of scientific and technological progress at every point in history. However, we cannot allow fear to halt the progress of research and invention. God has instilled in humans a desire for knowledge, and a curiosity and drive to pursue truth and transformation, and He has also provided wisdom and discernment to help guide that curiosity.

We must be aware of our focus and intentions as we seek to advance our world, and of the consequences of these new ideas. However, allowing fear to dissuade our curiosity and hinder our pursuit of knowledge would be a tragedy.  

These are some thoughts and ideas I have had as I watch the world as a fly on the wall in IT. 

Have a blessed and thoughtful day!

The Fly ;)

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