Having just watched an excellent screencast on how to spot a phishing scam created by Nik Peachey, I wanted to share his excellent tips.
Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Nik’s screencast takes you through a real example of a fraudulent email which looks as if it has been sent by BT Yahoo. The short video points out the important things to look for to check for authenticity. I recommend you taking a look.
Nik advises that the key pointers to look out for are as follows:
- The information in the message. I used Google to check out the content and the name of the sender to see if they were genuine.
- Use of English. Grammatical mistakes and use of either too formal or very informal language are often a give away.
- The look and design of the message. This is often very poor and at best has some kind of attempt to link to a logo from the company.
- Mouse over the hyperlinks and look to see where they go, if they go anywhere. Dead links or non-existent ones are a give away as are ones that are random numbers or letters or which have an odd suffix. The one in my message led to sngsnfjswrsad and had a suffix of .p.ht so that’s very suspicious.
- The return address. Although it looked like customer services, it’s very easy to set up an email that shows anything you want it to in the reply, but checking the true address showed this to be a random email account and quite possibly not even the one that belonged to the sender.
To add, Microsoft warn about the misuse of web addresses by Cybercriminals. This is where they re-create an address that resembles the names of well-known companies but are slightly altered by adding, omitting, or transposing letters. For example, the address ‘www.microsoft.com’ could appear instead as:
This is called “typo-squatting” or “cybersquatting.”
Emails that sound too good to be true very often are. Taking care to check the points above will help to minimise risks. Microsoft offer further advice on how to protect yourself from email and webscams.
This is a very useful sizing guide for selecting images for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. Thank you Ashleigh Lay for sharing this infographic and the embed code for others to share on their blogs.
LinkedIn maps is a great app which allows you to create an interactive map of all of your connections on LinkedIn. You can click on each node and view the profile of that connection as well as zoom in to see how your connections are connected to each other. You will see groups of connections in different colours. When you hover over the nodes you will find that there are commonalities, such as groups of people you have worked with. In the bottom left hand corner of the map you can give names to these colour coded groups. As you will see on my map, I have identified colleagues from Sheffield Hallam University, colleagues in Higher Education from other countries and those with social media specialisms to name just a few. Continue reading
A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol #. They have been used for some time by Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Chris Messina was the first to introduce them to Twitter. Searching for a hashtag will bring together all entries containing that word or phrase. Continue reading
LinkedIn recommendations are used to give a colleague or business partner that you have personally worked with or a service provider, a recommendation of their work. There is also the option to recommend a student, but I personally would use this only where you have worked with a student. For example on a research project or where the student was an intern. A recommendation is different to a character reference. Continue reading
Aside from the Twitter web page, there are a number of different ways you can view tweets. Two of my favourites are:
- curating tweets to produce a digital style newspaper and
- showcasing tweets as a back channel that can be viewed publicly at an event Continue reading
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There are so many time saving keystroke tips and tricks around and yet many of us (including myself) have either simply just not picked them up or along the way forgotten what they are!
David Pogue talks about some really useful ones in his TED talk. These include:
- Tap the space bar to scroll down a whole page and Shift + space bar to scroll up
- Use the tab bar to move between boxes on a form
- View a web page in bigger text by pressing + with the Ctrl key or - to decrease
- Simply tap the call key on your mobile to dial the last number keyed
- During a PowerPoint presentation tap B to black the screen and repeat to resume the presentation (or use W to white the screen) Continue reading
Below is an excellent article written by Shea Bennett on the 5 Stages of Getting Twitter. I am sharing her 5 Stages (in its entirety) as it is such a good summary and one that even the most prolific Tweeters will be able to resonate with. Having had numerous conversations on the topic, I know that many colleagues have also gone through these very stages. Those that have persevered and reached stage 5 now have a valuable resource at their finger tips. The key thing to remember is that Twitter is what you make of it. Follow people, companies, groups or brands that interest you. Do look at who other people follow and then if their tweets also interest you, then by all means follow them too. It’s a personal choice and will depend on the interests you have. If you only follow celebrities but are not interested in what they say, your Twitter feed will be meaningless. Continue reading