Lynne d Johnson

 

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06.13.03 12:43 AM

beware online financial transactions

I really don't want to say too much at this time since fraudulent transactions are currently pending investigation. But an online financial service that I used was somehow hacked into, either by my following a link in an email that was a fraud or someone hacking into my online account. These people were able to get a lot of my banking and other financial information and further conducted fraudlent activity other than where they initially made their hack.

It's funny, b/c when ecommerce first came along, as well as all these online financial services, I was mad wary of using them. Eventually I gave in. It made things quick and easy. And for bill paying, it definitely cuts down on writing checks and purchasing stamps. This does not mean I would not trust my own bank's secure service and make transactions there, I probably still will. But all I have to say to you folks is I am out of a significant amount of money right now b/c of this and terribly stressed out about it. What if I can't recoup my funds? I'm not trying to scare you, but all I am saying is that you make sure you are using a secure service. That any time you send money over the Internet you see a lock somewhere in the browser's status area or elswhere on the site as you are connecting to make the transaction. Make sure the URL begins with an https instead of simply http. And it's even better if a new window opens in which you make the transaction, so that you're certain it is secure. I have learned a lot from this experience, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone else.

I know I'm not saying a lot here about what actually happened to me, but I don't want to be too harsh on any of these institutions...b/c they are here to serve us and they are trying to do their best. Besides being a journalist, and especially since the activities are under investigation, I know a little something about libel and defamation on the Internet. In other words I shouldn't be too hasty about what I say and spit some foul-mouthed expletives against anyone. And I really shouldn't use anyone's name here.

PS: to any of you having problems using my comments, I am having it looked into right now. I know some folks post and it doesn't go up. I get the email notifications, but don't see a lot of the posts. When I have time, I put them in myself since I have it all in the email notifications, but I can't always do that. So do know, that if you post and everyone doesn't get to see it in what J. feels is too small of a comment box, at least I know what you've said. BTW, J. I made it a little bit larger.

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