Tuesdays and Thursdays during the 2010 WordCount Blogathon, I’m running posts I originally wrote for SecondAct.com, an online magazine for people over 40 launched in April by Entrepreneur Media, publisher of Entrepreneur Magazine, Entrepreneur.com, WomenEntrepreneur.com and EntrepreneurEnEspanol.com.
By now, most people know their bank would never ask for account information in an email and that an urgent plea for a $5,000 wire transfer isn’t really from a Nigerian prince.
But cyber-criminals are getting sneakier and too many people still don’t know an online scam when they see one, says Jason Hong, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University who researches how people interact with computers. “It is a little scary to see how creative the bad guys can be,” he says.
Hong’s specialty is security and he’s an expert on phishing attacks, some of the most predominant online scams today. Instead of exploiting weaknesses in computer software, criminals use phishing attacks to prey on weaknesses in people – especially their fears or greed – to get them to share a Social Security number or the password to a 401(k) account.
The day I talked with Hong he’d just stepped off the plane from Brazil where attended the biannual meeting of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an industry association that tracks phishing attacks worldwide and runs internet fraud prevention campaigns.
Read the rest of this post at SecondAct.com: Protect Yourself From a ‘Phishing’ Expedition