Monday, August 11, 2014

Stupid Is Stupid

Okay, I'm not sure which is the proper way to say it: Stupid is as stupid does OR stupid does as stupid is.

Really, it doesn't matter - stupid is stupid and there just isn't any way around that!


Yes, I ranted about spam (not the so-called meat product) last month and how fast it comes at you.  Now, I want to know - Do spammers think we are dumb?  I believe their hope in doing all this spam is to find either a young person who doesn't know any better, a truly elderly person who is completely befuddled by the Internet or just a stupid is.

Think about it.  How many of you, out there in the cyber-world, open attachments from unknown people or what appears to be blatantly obvious spam?  Now, really - think.

You just got an email from xyz@vermonttruckerslawyers and it has an attachment for you to attend a hearing.  Hmm?  Were you involved in an accident or some traffic violation with a trucker?  If not, were you in Vermont?  Seems the Clerk of Court in Vermont or some attorney's secretary has sent you a document that you need to open to discover all the details.

Who opens them?  If you do, STUPID IS or STUPID DOES.  Step back from the computer.  If the email message is from the Clerk of Court, then why is it from xyz@vermonttruckerslawyers?  Secondly, having worked at a federal court and dealt with lower courts - never would they send you an email.  Anything legal like that would come via registered mail or an official person of the law or court.  It is going to be put directly into your hands.  It will NOT be sent anonymously with no legal way to prove you received it.

Now, explain why Red Lobster, Crackerbarrel, Wendys, Burger King, WalMart, Sam's Club, etc etc would send you a certificate to redeem for $10, $15, $25, or even a higher amount?  What did you do to deserve such an honor?  Did you give them your email when you purchased something?  I have yet to be asked for my email when dining.  Oh, sure, I've seen the receipt where it states "Go to xxx and fill out the survey for a chance to win xyz."  Yes, you give them your email.  Hmm?  That certificate you just received with an attached document came from (supposedly) Burger King.  Oh wait, actually, the email address sending you that document is  Huh?  Burger King has people moonlighting for them, sending people gift certificates?  NO!

Once you open an attachment, you've committed your computer.  You have authorized that document to do whatever is necessary.  If it has a virus or worm inside the attachment, it now has the ability to infest your computer. And there ain't a damned thing you can do about it.

Okay, you don't open mail from strangers.  Good.

I got an email from a buddy.  Strange one.  It was from him.  It was his legitimate email address.  Huh?  Only one thing wrong.  There really wasn't any message other than "Gotta see this" and a link to click on that would supposedly take me to whatever he wanted to see.  I almost clicked on it but something told me not to do it.  If I did, I would be STUPID IS or STUPID DOES.  I sent an email to my buddy.  He didn't respond.  In fact, it was almost 10 days before I heard from him again.  He was without a computer.  He'd been hacked by a "Gotta see this" email from a friend and he clicked on it.

Even with professional software, if you click to allow, 90% of the time, that software isn't going to protect you stupid move.  It might, if it is good and has been updated regularly, notify you that the action is about to allow a virus or worm into your computer, but most of the time, you'll find out the hard way.

The WalMart spam is rather good.  It states:

We want to show you how much we appreciate your repeat-business at Walmart, so we are going to give you access to a $100 Walmart Gift Card. You'll be able to use this card for ANY purchase in ANY of our locations or you can use it right away on our website!
Really sounds legitimate but... I normally use cash, having given up credit cards and seldom using my debit card (having been burned by illegal use) so I'm not sure how they know my repeat-business.  Yeah, they want me to just click that link and get my just rewards.  What I'll get is probably over $100 in computer repair bills.

So, I guess it don't really matter which way you say it -- STUPID IS or STUPID DOES.  The bottom line is STUPID is STUPID.  You click on an attachment or link, you get what you ask for.

Until next I ramble on...

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