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February 03, 2022

Why your computer is at risk

By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

Hmmm, no emails today about fake Rolexes or nonexistent bank accounts that need checking. What am I going to do?

Spam levels dropped sharply after rogue hosting firm McColo was shut down by its upstream ISPs late last year. But two months later, its replacements are once again churning out even more messages from hell.

According to the newest statistics from MessageLabs, roughly 75% of all email thus far this month has been spam, an increase of close to 5 percentage points over the December level. While you wait for yet another bogus PayPal notice, here’s McAfee’s take on what’s on the horizon.

Of course, we bring all this on ourselves. After two decades of warning about the perils of social engineering – the methods hackers use to trick people into revealing passwords or allowing access to computer systems – a recent Cisco study suggests that little progress has been made when it comes to protecting our computers. 

If anything, people are even more lax about security than they were a few years ago, the survey found. And even when companies have security policies, Cisco’s research reveals that employees frequently defy or ignore them.

The worst offenders? Those who troll unauthorized web sites or add applications they like to use at home. Here’s the top 10 list.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...