The Birth of Internet Access

Internet access and its beginnings can be accredited in large part to the collective efforts of many individuals around the globe. However, it all began back in the late 60s when the U.S. military wanted to create a network of computers that could communicate together. This network was to become known as ARPANET. By the mid 1980s, the National Science Foundation improved the networks ability to transfer information at faster speeds. As a result, and by the 90s, Internet service providers (ISP’s) and Web sites began popping-up offering Internet access to the public, thereby, ushering in the age of Internet access.

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How to protect yourself from scams and identity theft

Here’s what you should do starting now to help prevent identity theft:

    1. Guard your personal information like your life depended on it: Give out your Social Security number? Maybe, but always ask whether it is necessary in order to complete the transaction. If the company you’re dealing with doesn’t require it, don’t give it. And never give it to a total stranger.
    2. Be less active on social media: Your friends don’t care if you just left for a ten-day jaunt to Machu Picchu, or if you love the new $10,000 home entertainment system that just got delivered. But thieves care. They’re scouring social media, monitoring when you’re away from home, and compiling profiles on you to sell to others or to use themselves in an upcoming scam. As Adam Levin says, “Facebook and other social media sites can be an identity thief’s El Dorado.”
    3. Warn the young’uns (and the old’uns): Children give up a lot of information on social media, and thieves know it. Warn them about the dangers. Your elderly parents and grandparents are likewise easy targets. Alert them to common scams involving technology, and remind them that when they become Facebook friends with their grandchildren, they, too, need to be careful not to overshare. One easy hint: Never ever put your year of birth out there, and don’t assume that social media instant or direct messages are secure.
    4. Ditch the 12345678: You need stronger passwords than that. And you should be changing them every month. I know, this sucks, but there is a reason your company is making you do this, too! If it helps, get yourself a password generator.
    5. Two-factor it, baby: Passwords aren’t enough. When possible, protect your accounts with two-factor authorization. It’s like having a double dead bolt on your front door. It’s like wearing two condoms instead of one. Yikes, you get the idea.
    6. Whip out the credit card: If you get scammed on your debit card, you might have to eat the loss. Credit card companies usually do the eatin’.
    7. Fortify the WiFi: The next time you find yourself in an airport terminal logging into a public WiFi system in order to check your bank balance or pay your bills, know that you’re being absolutely ridiculous. Two words: secured networks only. I know, that was three words.
    8. Read before paying: I’m asking you to do the unthinkable and spend three minutes actually perusing your credit card statement before you click “Pay full balance” on the website. It’s so easy to do—and even easier to forget to do. But how else are you going to know your account has been compromised? Here’s another way: Have your financial institution notify you if a payment over a fixed amount has been authorised. Most institutions offer this service.
    9. Go in for your twelve-month checkup: What does getting a physical exam have to do with identity theft? Nothing—I’m talking about checking on your credit scores once a year, just to make sure Dmitri in Vladivostok didn’t take out a car loan in your name to buy his new Buick. Best of all, it’s free on noddle.co.uk.
    10. Look, listen, and learn: Stay abreast of the latest scams and frauds. Aside from just keeping an eye out as you get your daily news fix, you could set up a Google news alert on the topic. And be sure to consult the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen,” its annual list of tax scams.

Related resources: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/common-scams/

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/may/02/27-common-scams-to-avoid 

What if your data has already been compromised? Don’t panic. You can take real steps to protect yourself in an hour or less. Contact either Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion and request that they attach a “fraud alert” to your report.

New HMRC Phishing Scam

I’ve just gotten a new email from a very suspicious looking email address claiming they were HMRC and that I’m entitled to a refund.

Email address: “Gateway HMRC” <4YFW1AHTNGVH-KRBZC2H46EQF9-vWwByutFvbxt-HilwPbUkynMNX@twyford.ealing.sch.uk>

Email Subject: DO NOT REPLY | ‘Payment receipt return’ | ‘Review your automatic payment’ | ‘Item No.31468060423885’ gukm3038 8/22/2018 Continue reading “New HMRC Phishing Scam”

Assembly Language: Data Conversions Routines

Computer systems use character based keyboards and displays for inputting and outputting data. Conversion routines are necessary to convert data types to character strings and back again.

Consider the entry from a keyboard of an integer value 276. This represents a three character sequence of ‘2’, ‘7’ and ‘6’. This character sequence will need to be converted into an appropriate 16bit value representing an integer. Also consider displaying the value of a byte as two hex digits. Each nibble must be converted to an ASCII character before displaying on the terminal screen. Continue reading “Assembly Language: Data Conversions Routines”

Assembly Language: Implementation of High level Language Constructs

In High Level Languages such as PASCAL and BASIC, several constructs are available which help to implement programs. You should know how these constructs are implemented in assembly language.The constructs that we will now deal with involve SELECTION and ITERATION. Both types of constructs are implemented using the conditional BRANCH instructions of the processor.

These types of instructions test the state of the various flags of the status register. All variables are memory based. Any manipulation of variables normally involves three steps,

  1. Load the variable into a register
  2. Perform the operation
  3. Store the result back into the variables location

Continue reading “Assembly Language: Implementation of High level Language Constructs”