I received an email from PayPal yesterday afternoon. It was about a restriction on my account. While reading the email and noticed two things. First, their email address was firstname.lastname@example.org. Secondly, I spotted grammar mistakes. Alarm bells rang!
I logged into my PayPal account. There were no messages about my account being restricted.
– See more at: http://www.miraculousladies.com/beware-paypal-scam-emails/#sthash.c5Ddd79Y.dpuf
That’s the main stuff here. She outlines things to watch out for, which is really useful stuff.
I’ve written extensively about this myself, as I’m sure you know:
There’s a road sign I often see in South Carolina. It’s posted wherever there’s a road project, and it admonishes drivers to watch their air speed. I guess law enforcement takes this stuff seriously:
LET ‘EM WORK – LET ‘EM LIVE
Because I’m so easily amused I usually read that out loud when I pass one of those signs.
However, as proof positive that I’m so easily amused, I’ll add my own punchline:
LET ‘EM FINISH
That’s because road crews — or more correctly the political entities that control them — are not always that good about completing a project.
Of course I know absolutely nothing about that. Of course I always finish what I start. Of course I’m lying like an old hound dog in the sun.
I’ve already written about my multiple uncompleted projects. Their name is legion for there are many. But talking to other creative types — especially those with more than one talent — should make me feel better. At least I’m not the worst kiddy in this schoolhouse.
But this finishing stuff. That’s so cool. A rush. Even better than having another brilliant idea. But getting to that completion point is just too much like work … (more)
“Have you ever had a moment where you knew you made it, that you’ve reached all your goals? If I do, just take me behind the barn and shoot me. If I ever reach that point I’ve made it, then what do I do next? … success scares me even more than failure.”
– Karen Watts, in B.I.C. Cartel
Who would have thought finishing something or doing a great work can be a trigger?
I got into a debate with some co-workers about fears a few years ago. Actually it didn’t start as a debate until I made it so; I do have that effect.
But in our discussion I mentioned a fear of success.
It’s not just a fear of getting there, but a fear that comes when you actually finish a great work.
I sure hope the publishing process isn’t nearly that hard for me, but you can bet it will. It’s all good news, though. I’m committed to this thing (or maybe I should be committed). Provided I don’t find a handy excuse Part III and the full version of B.I.C. Cartel comes out March 3.
I think it was some guy named A. Nonymous who said libraries were a hospital for the brain. Smart guy, that Mr. Nonymous.
By inference, this means reading. Lots of it. Reading is good for the brain, it takes you places you’ve never been and you’ll learn a lot of cool stuff. It’s also healing.
I’m reading an article by Victoria Maxwell in BPHope right now, and she touches on the same subject.
Here’s what she says:
…bibliotherapy: reading books to help to cope with and heal from mental, physical, emotional and/or social issues. The UK’s Reading Agency which runs the Books on Prescription program states there’s “strong evidence self-help reading can help people with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, sometimes on its own or with other forms of treatment”. This has been my experience …
She included her reading list, and … well, check out her post and decide for yourself …
Got me another one, Ethel. Another of those notes from PayPal saying my account has been temporarily blocked.
Just for grins, let’s take a look at the email to find the obvious BS. because this stuff is getting old.
Unfortunately , Your account is temporarily blockedplease follow the instructions below
Dear ΡayΡal Customer,
ΡayΡal is constantly working to ensure security by regularly screening the accounts in our system.
We recently reνiewed your account, and we need more information to prove your ownership .
to help us to provide you with a secure serνice.
Until we can collect this information, your access to sensitiνe account features will be limited.
We would like to restore your access as soon as possible, and we apologize for the inconνenience.
Why is my account access limited?
we haνe reason to belieνe that your account was accessed by a third party.
Βecause protecting the security of your account is our primary concern, we haνe limited access
to sensitiνe ΡayΡal account features.
We understand that this may be an inconνenience but please understand that this temporary
limitation is for your protection.
How can i get my account fully restored ?
Please follow the link below and login to your account then reνiew your account information
Here’s the horse it rode in on email address it came from:
Got that so far? Doesn’t look like a PayPal to me.
A couple of other things that in of themselves are not deal breakers, but they’re sure red flags:
Unfortunately , Your account is temporarily blocked
please follow the instructions below
Notice the space between Unfortunately and the comma. Again, no biggie by itself, but it’s far from what a professional operation like PayPal would produce.
There are other grammatical errors, mostly in capitalization. And it’s not “sincerlye.”
This tells me this note was written by someone who does not speak English as a first language. Russian perhaps? North Korean? One of those nations that specializes in malware and computer hijacking?
After checking my firewalls, bumping up my security and all that good junk I clicked on the link. Here’s what I got:
Reported Phishing Website Ahead!
Chromium has blocked access to sssecu1rity.com. This website has been reported as a phishing website.
Phishing websites are designed to trick you into disclosing your login, password or other sensitive information by disguising themselves as other websites you may trust. Learn more
* * *
In case anyone misses it, it’s on a red background.
Now, I don’t ever advocate clicking on links like that. In fact, if you click on “confirm now” in the text of the letter, you probably need to snip your Internet connection, turn in your computer and stick with something safe. Like skydiving or something. I figured I can get away with it because a) I know what I’m doing, b) my security is extremely tight and c) I’m using Linux anyway.
Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention. This email came in two of my accounts (I have several). My PayPal account is only attached to one domain name. These two email accounts are under another domain name. So as far as these senders are concerned I really don’t have a PayPal account.
Second add: I also ran some precautions when I wrote that. They were pretty much off the top of my head, but the original story is here. I pasted in the list below just ’cause I like you:
Choose your tools carefully. If you use Internet Explorer, take that icon off your desktop right now and surf with a different browser. Chromium (an open-source version of Google Chrome) is good, as are Firefox and Opera.
Keep that browser updated.
Be careful about passwords; PayPal_Andy’s advice of having a designated password for each site is highly recommended, even though I’m guilty of using the same passwords for more than one site.
Don’t open any attachments if you don’t know the sender.
Be wary of attachments from someone you know; zap it with your virus and malware protection tools before you open it.
I’d also be wary of links sent by email, especially when they’re shortened through bit.ly or some other service. Also be careful of links posted on your favorite social media sites; you can click on some malware real easily that way. I’ve seen malware propagate among everyone on your friends/followers lists, making them the gift that keeps on giving.
You do have virus protection, don’t you? You do keep it updated, don’t you? Virus protection that’s not kept up to speed is totally worthless.
Grab some spyware protection, too. For that I recommend Spybot Search And Destroy.
Be careful about using public wireless for any business involving money; it’s too easy to tap into your information that way.
If surfing in a public place, watch for anyone behind you or sit with your back against a wall. I know this sounds goofy, but when some lowlife is trying to grab your information the low-tech ways are often the most effective.
Don’t let me scare you or anything.
If you use a smartphone:
Guard it with your life. Even if you want to be a good neighbor and help someone in a pinch, don’t let that person “hold” your phone. It’s too easy for him to snatch it and run. Most smartphones carry way more information than you’d think, and most of it can be found in seconds.
Be careful about dropping or leaving your phone somewhere. Same reason.
I use a lanyard from an old mp3 player and attach it to my phone holster. The other end is attached to a small carabiner, which I clip onto a belt loop. The holster’s flap is closed when I’m not using the phone. That way, if the holster falls off (happens more often than I’d like to think) or someone tries to snatch it off your belt, you’d know immediately.
Stay aware of what’s around you, even if you’re texting or playing Angry Birds. I’ve heard of folks stealing someone’s phone while the person is using it.
Two words: Password protection.
# # #
Final add: For your edification and amusement, I added this video at the last minute. It seemed to fit the theme somehow. I wonder if anyone told the diver that one side of his cage is missing?
I like this. Found it through Twitter, and it’s worth the price of admission. Too many business types fall on these weasel words/phrases that, if they meant anything once they sure don’t now.
Here’s a sample:
1. Actionable. An actionable item is one you can take action on. Whether the action is desirable is another story. For that reason, an item may be more clearly described as practical, useful, realistic or workable.
2. Around. Don’t have a discussion around an issue; have a discussion about an issue.
3. Balls in the air. Sound less like a carnival act and more like a business professional by saying that you are busy or have several projects underway.
4. Best of breed. “Of breed” adds nothing to “best.” Just say you’re the best.
How about, if I hear this verbiage around me I must start slapping someone. Unless I’m the one using these putrid phrases, of course. Do as I say, not as I do.
The author, Brad Shorr, listed his original 50 chunks (as in blowing chunks) of jargon here. Not necessarily more objectionable, but obvious enough that he thought of those before he did the second batch.
I’ve heard of standing desks and treadmill desks, but a squatting desk?
Not kidding. According to an article in Fast Company, squatting allows us to rest while on our feet. It’s a Zenlike thing, or is it Yogalike? Anyway, it evokes images of green tea and all that good stuff.
Here’s what blogger Feyyaz Alingan (figures) said about squatting:
“It’s a posture that most of the West has lost its ability to do–tight hips and tight achilles due to spending our days in desk chairs might be the culprit–whereas folks in East and South Asia do it on the regular.”
Supposedly, squatting opens my hips, which prevents lower back pain. Or something.
I didn’t know I had a problem with closed hips. I wouldn’t know the difference between an open or closed one anyway.
But I do know this. Just squatting to get to the lower shelf at the supermarket hurts. My knees give me trouble. My Achilles tendons start hurting. It takes me at least a week to get back up. Maybe it’s part of being in my late 50s, but I am in shape.
About the only part of my body that doesn’t hurt is my hips. So maybe there’s something to this squatting thing.
My hiking buddy is in his late 40s, also in shape and a medical professional besides. We discussed this article on a seven-mile training hike the other day, and he says he can’t see the benefits either. Maybe it helps you give birth, he suggested
That’s not something I plan to do anytime soon. I’m too old for that anyway.
So the squatting desk, you can have it. I’m not going to put my laptop on a bench and squat at it. Forget that. I’d rather sit in a chair, and I’m not the sitting-down type.
Now, give me a standing desk any time. I have one, or at least it’s modified for that. A wine crate, a sheet of particle board nailed to the top to accommodate the mouse, and the extension keyboard is on another platform about waist high to me. Perfect. Ergonomically sound. It worked for Hemingway, and it’ll work for me too.
When I do my work at a McDonalds or Starbucks, I’ll shove the chair aside and set up shop on the counter. I’ll pull two-hour work sessions and stand up the whole time. Keeps me focused and gives me the feeling I’m going somewhere.
Standing desks are red hot right now. I see one from GeekDesk that looks pretty bare-bones to me. Looks like a glorified folding table, and it’s all yours for $525. For the frame. As far as a top, you’re on your own.
(H’mmm … about that squat again?…)
There are some DIY versions shown in Make Use Of, starting at around $40. Depending on which one you build, you’re using sawhorses or anything else. (Hey, sawhorses … now that’s an idea.) Here are a few more if you don’t mind the hipster look.
A treadmill desk, though, is a different matter. Trying to keep fingers on keyboard is dicey enough anyway, but it’s worse at a treadmill. Plus trying to watch the screen while my eyeballs are going up and down doesn’t sound very effective to me, exercise or not.