Whenever people desperately want something, criminals have always come up with ways to rip people off. It's a practice as old as time.
The Google+ invite frenzy has prompted some devious spammers to send out fake invitations. Sophos, a cyber securities firm, first reported this spam.
Gmail users would receive a Google+ invite that looks like the real thing. Except when you click on the link to the Google+ invite, it leads you to a completely different website, riddled with malware.
This isn't the first time that insane demand for Google products spawned scams. Back when Gmail membership was an exclusive club and a hot item, spammers sent existing Gmail users a notice that Google had just given them 50 extra invites.
All they have to do is fill out a form with their Gmail password.
Apple, was also used as bait. Back before the iPad was released, bogus Facebook pages were set up to ask users to be beta testers; they would get the iPad in advance and then keep it for free.
All these Apple fans had to do was provide their personal information and cell phone number. Their cell phone number was subsequently enrolled in an expensive premium service.
For active Internet users, scams and spams are a fact of life. Abiding by the following guidelines, however, will lessen the pain.
- Don't respond to sweet offers that you didn't pursue or don't know the origin of, whether it's a Google+ invite or a millionaire trying to give away his fortunes.
- Don't ever give out your personal information to email requests from scammers posing as legitimate entities. Legitimate entities will never ask you that; the only time they might prompt you for personal information is when you approach them do something.
- Too good to be true offers do not exist. For example, somebody looking to share the wealth of somebody who has no "next of kin"...does not happen in real life. If you're not sure, don't go for it, especially if you have to provide your personal information or grant access to your computer in exchange for it.
The best way to prevent this is to pay attention and be aware of what sites you are visiting and links you are clicking on. When you enter in password, personal, account, or credit card information, double check to make sure you are on a reputable website. Double check the URL and make sure the URL address is what you think it is. Double check the website you are on to make sure there is nothing suspicious so you won’t fall prey to these scams.
With Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera all duking it out for browser market share, some might think the world doesn’t need another Web browser. However, a group of developers led by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria have taken the wraps off of RockMelt, a new Web browser that builds on the notion of a social Web by building Facebook and Twitter directly into the browser. RockMelt will also include integrated sharing tools and an enhanced way to navigate through Google search results via the keyboard to find exactly what you want. Additionally, if you happen to be using a public computer or someone else’s system, no problem: RockMelt is the first browser to be “fully backed by the cloud.” Just run RockMelt, and your personalized browsing experience is waiting for you.
“RockMelt does more than just navigate Web pages,” RockMelt wrote on their just-launched company blog. “It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search.”
RockMelt also keeps track of users favorite sites, informing users of new posts or updates automatically so users don’t have to constantly check for new posts. Taking it one step further, RockMelt proactively fetches that content so users don’t have to wait for it to download once they notice it’s available. RockMelt also integrates a sharing tool to make it easy to share a page or a link with friends: clicking a Share button next to the browser’s URL field automatically shares the link with Facebook or Twitter, with no fuss. RockMelt also claims to be the first browser “backed by the cloud,” meaning that users can run RockMelt from anywhere, after you log in, you can tap directly into your personalized Web experience. RockMelt also aims to make searching easier my enabling users to flip through Google search results from the keyboard like flipping through a magazine.
RockMelt is available for Mac and Windows (Linux support not available) by invitation only—and, for the moment, interested users can only get an invitation via Facebook. The initial RockMelt release is a beta and has many rough spots, but the developers seem eager for feedback and thoughts on how to enhance the browser. Folks who spend a good portion of their online time using Facebook and Twitter then sharing interesting items with their friends may find a lot to like in RockMelt.
If RockMelt’s features resonate with social Internet users, expect mainstream browsers to quickly take notice…or maybe RockMelt could become a mainstream browser itself.
Mozilla has launched an early beta version of the next Firefox browser (Firefox 4) and plans to release further beta's for testing every two to three weeks. The goal, Mozilla said, is to improve the development process by receiving feedback from developers quickly and getting fixes and changes tested earlier than in previous Firefox development cycles.
The most noticeable improvement to Firefox 4 has to do with the look of the browser. The tabs have been moved to the top to make it easier to control the tools in the web browser itself. Also, if you have Windows 7 or Windows Vista, the menu bar was replaced with a single Firefox button so you can get to the most-used options with just one click.
Under the hood, Firefox 4 integrates a new add-on manager that provides users with more space to handle add-ons, themes and plug-ins. Developers will also be able to build Firefox add-ons more quickly using the new Jetpack SDK to safely connect to existing libraries.
With Firefox 4, users will no longer have to restart the browser in order to install a new add-on or recover from a crash. When a plug-in crashes or freezes, you will be able to resume browsing by simply refreshing the page.
Firefox is known for its add-ons, where it has established one of the richest environments for new capabilities, positioning it as a platform unto itself. Add-ons, extensions and apps are becoming important for browser vendors because it creates additional options for its users.
Future beta releases of Firefox 4 will enable users to synchronize settings, passwords, bookmarks, history, open tabs and other customizations across multiple devices.
If you are interested in helping Mozilla test the future Firefox, download the beta version of Firefox 4 by clicking on the link below. If you are interested in downloading the latest official Firefox release (version 3.6.8) click on the link below.
Firefox 4 Beta