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The Sound of Ideas

Cyber Monday: How To Avoid Scams & Computer Jams

Posted Monday, November 30, 2009

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Cyber Monday: How To Avoid Scams & Computer Jams The first Monday after Thanksgiving, it's estimated that about 85 million Americans will seek online deals from the comfort of their cubicles or couches. So-called "Cyber Monday" is one of biggest internet sale days of the year. Which means it's also one of the most active days for cyber scammers. Some scams are easy to identify, like the long lost buddy who needs you to wire money immediately. But others are easy to overlook in the rush to get a good deal. Monday monring on the Sound of Ideas, Plain Dealer Consumer Affairs Columnist Sheryl Harris and guests share tips for protecting your computer and your pocketbook.


Other, Community/Human Interest, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement


Sara Peters, Senior Editor, Computer Security Institute
Supervisory Special Agent Darren Mott, Cyber Crimes Squad, Cleveland Division of the FBI

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Paul -Shaker Heights 12:11 AM 12/2/09

I’m surprised Sara Peters wasn’t able to answer the caller’s question.

It can be very easy to tell if the redirected website is the same site or not.  In the example given by the caller, you know “” is ok because the last two parts separated by the decimal is still “” (this is referred to as the “domain name").  That means you are still on the same site.  So if you get redirected to “” or “” for example, you know you are still at

Companies do this frequently to distribute the load across multiple servers or to create specific versions of their website (eg. Mobile websites for your phone as mentioned by Darren Mott).

Also, I would mention that it is often EXTREMELY difficult to find telephone numbers of Internet companies as suggested again by Sara Peters.  For example, does Yahoo or Google even *have* a number you can call?  I can’t even find their email address!  And for the longest time, even the telephone number for was virtually impossible to find.  Plus, telephone numbers can also be scams.

Furthermore, I would HIGHLY recommend avoiding Internet Explorer (including version 8) at all costs.  Besides the fact that it is the worst performing browser on the market right now (slow and clunky), it has numerous vulnerabilities and because of its “popularity” it is often targeted for attack by malicious hackers.

Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera are much better choices for web browsers.  Just google search it to find them.

Finally, another minor “well actually.” Google Chrome (Google’s web browser) is actually based on “webkit” (which is also open source like Firefox), the same engine that Safari is built from, and NOT based on Internet Explorer as suggested in the show.


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