The Norman Transcript


April 27, 2014

Don’t swallow the phisherman’s bait and become a victim

NORMAN — Years ago, I remember seeing my first “phishing” website; I was impressed. It looked exactly like the website of a popular credit card company, right down to the logo, buttons and graphics.

The only way that I could tell it was fake was that the address in the address bar of my browser wasn’t quite right.

The lucrative sport of “phishing” has been around for years but has become super-profitable as of late. The attacks usually start with a bogus email that tells you to go to a bank or credit card website to “update” your personal information or take advantage of a special promotion.

As soon as you type in your username and password, the bad guys have you hooked and can start stealing your money. Every year, many millions of people are ripped off by phishing attacks and many billions of dollars are stolen.

You’ve probably received a phishing email before; statistics show that at least 80 percent of online adults have.

What’s more disturbing, though, is that 4.4 percent of folks receiving phishing emails swallowed the bait and lost money to the bad guys. Compared to most email marketing campaigns, that is a shockingly high response rate.

The phishing scams invented by the bad guys are very clever and take an aware mind and keen eye to detect. The good folks at OpenDNS have put up a website ( where you can test your phishing scam-spotting skills. Sadly, a large segment of the Internet population seems to be clueless in detecting fake websites.

Do you know the “s+lock” rule? When you visit websites that require a login password, pay attention to the website’s address at the top of your browser and observe the “s+lock” rule.

What you want to see is the address prefix “https” instead of just “http.” You also want to see a little yellow lock symbol down in the lower corner.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Candy Basket celebrates 25 years

    Perhaps it’s the chocolate covered blueberries whose deliciousness still lingers. Or maybe it’s the blood orange and wild honey white chocolate ganache that won’t soon be forgotten by your taste buds. At The Candy Basket there is decadence ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Bramlett & Associates adopts new name reflective of business

    Bramlett & Associates Multimedia LLC (Bramlett Multimedia), 215 W. Main St., announced this month that the company will change its name after 12 years in business and will do business as BOLD-Multimedia. The announcement, made first to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Toothpick holders convention coming to Norman

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collection in 1936,” Ryan said. Ryan was born in 1940, and she grew up crawling around toothpick holders, as have ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Protect your online banking, shopping with encryption

    In my free, one-night class called “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win,” I teach everyday computer users how to stay out of trouble on the Internet. How to avoid virus infections, how to discern between the genuine and counterfeit, and ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tourism in Okla. creates $17.2 M in economic benefit

    A new National Park Service report shows that the 1,108,103 visitors to Oklahoma’s national parks in 2013 spent $17.2 million and supported 176 jobs in the state. Oklahoma’s three national parks include: Washita Battlefield National ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Norman United Wayboard gets to work

    The United Way of Norman Board of Directors for 2014-15 has met for the first time. Leading the group as chair was Steve McDaniel of Oklahoma State Bank....

    July 20, 2014

  • Family tragedy opened one woman’s eyes to the need of the disabled

    Jean Bayles had a dream. The dream was to provide a fully accessible home for rent in Norman. Her brother, Terry Abbott, was injured when he was 15 and has been a quadriplegic since....

    July 13, 2014

  • HeyDay brings Boomerang back to Norman

    Boomerang Grille was a family-oriented, iconic restaurant for many Norman residents for many years. Few are the people who have not slid into those vinyl seated booths, picked up the red phone and ordered a Theta burger and onion rings or ...

    July 13, 2014

  • Residents serve Leadership board

    Four Norman residents are serving on the board of Leadership Oklahoma....

    July 6, 2014

  • Bellhops offer moving help to Norman

    Founders Cameron Doody and Stephen Vlahos launched Bellhops at Auburn University in 2011. “Our first year, we set a goal of 25 moves, and after three days we had moved 230 students during the college move in season.” Doody said. “That’s ...

    July 6, 2014