Recently a fellow ELT’er got their Twitter account taken over by a spambot. I can’t remember now exactly what products the bot was tweeting but it was only enough for me to raise an eyebrow, nothing more.
What flagged more strongly was when the bot direct messaged me saying that someone was saying bad things about me at a particular link. The message was striking enough that I was compelled to click on the link. The link took me to a page which asked for my Twitter username and password, the link url itself had ‘tvvitter’ in it (notice the two v’s).
Note, if you come across a suspicious site you can report it for example to Google.
Why had I taken the risk to click the link? Well I knew that any potential danger would be mitigated by the two add-ons I have for my Firefox browser – NoScript and Request Policy. These allow me to have good control over the behaviour of websites I visit (for more detailed info read this).
The downside of the add-ons is that you will have to enable what servers are allowed access each time you visit a new page. For sites with a lot of multimedia content this can be a pain since you will have to go through the list for which sites to allow if say you want to play an embedded video. But the benefits I feel out weigh the costs, needless to say with sites you visit often and that you trust you can permanently allow them access.
In addition I would recommend using a different browser (e.g. Opera) exclusively to check your bank account and/or electronic shopping.
If you have any other tips to secure yourself online please comment.