Tuesday, February 23, 2016


This is an example of ransomware from wired.com. This is not the Department of Justice as the screen might indicate, but rather some blackhat who has infiltrated your system and is looking for a easy cash grab.
Imagine turning on your computer and discovering all of your keys are locked, except a couple of open boxes on a screen, telling you that before you can get access again, you must pay a fine.

This is what happened to the Los Angeles Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. The entire network was shut down and access would only be granted if they paid a ransom of $3.6 million.

You can see how ransomware has the potential to wreak havoc for anyone whose livelihood relies on a computer. It's a malware that encrypts files and requires a key to unlock. It can come into a network through a simple file attachment in an email.

Do not respond to the demands of these cyber hacks. First check out reputable sites, like your Google FAQs, PC World, and perhaps first: your antivirus company, such as Vipre, Norton, or McAfee, to see what types of patches they have to remove this Trojan horse.

Most viruses hold your devices hostage but ransomware ups the ante with a payment demand. Now, just like a real-life kidnapping, paying the ransom doesn't mean the hacker will release your computer.

The best prevention is to play safe online. Top up your protection software and make sure it's current. Look at the link of a website before you click it to make sure it matches what you're expecting. For example, if you receive an email from Amazon advertising a product that interests you, when you mouse over the link in the email, you can see what link highlights before you click in most cases. But to be safe, go to the top of the browser and log directly into the account and search for the product. Don't open unexpected attachments unless there is an explanation from a known sender or if the email looks suspicious (even from a known sender.) Ask the known sender if they sent you a file out of the blue. When in doubt, don't open the attachment.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fired Employee Orchestrates Cyberbullying Campaign

It's kind of ironic when someone involved in law recruiting opts to become a cyberbully. That's exactly what has happened in this story.

Harrison Barnes is a law recruiter who hired a couple of fellows way back, even though they had been fired from their previous jobs. After discovering that their recruiting practices were underhanded and would put the company at risk, the two were fired. They have since used a website to besmear Barnes, who has responded through the legal route, as well as creating a post of his own.

This isn't a unique case, and it unfortunately won't be the last.

The Internet is full of disgruntled employees, who have taken to cock their mouse as the new firearm when deciding to seek their revenge.

I met a real estate agent who has experienced a similar online trashing from someone he didn't hire. It doesn't have to take much to set off a bully. But they will continue to test you, enlist others to set up traps, and do their best to destroy your digital life.

All we can do in response is to carry on as if they don't exist. Engaging them adds coal to the furnace, but ignoring them and finding a way to succeed and live happily, despite their best efforts to destroy you, is the best revenge you can bestow on them.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Customers Who Are Bullies

"People treat us this way (with disrespect) because they don't respect us." +Jeff Mowatt

Do you ever find in business that the people who pay the least amount of money for your services or who wine and dine you until they learn the contract isn't free, these are the ones who cause you the most grief?

Most of the time, before you sign someone up, you have an inner sense that this might be a difficult customer. But you want their business anyway because they may be high profile or they're someone with an interesting job description. Other times, the customer catches you off guard.

Sometimes, not always, that sixth sense comes true. Maybe the reason you feel it beforehand comes down to seven letters: r-e-s-p-e-c-t. You don't necessarily feel that it goes both ways.

You may be just starting out and you need the business. Unfortunately, that is when you talk yourself into such a contract, even if you know it's going to be a dud. They nickle and dime you and have a freak-out on every little thing that doesn't go exactly to plan. If you're not available at the customer's beck and call, they berate you until they bring you to tears, all because you weren't there for some answer to an impromptu question that could have waited until morning.

Mowatt says everything comes down to this: equal status. Both you and your customer are equals. If it doesn't feel that way, then you may want to reconsider continuing the relationship.

The sad thing is that you have no control over your customer's behavior. They can easily post a horrific review about you on Yelp or worse.

Certainly if your client is a bully, nothing you can do or say will alter his or her behavior. You can only distance yourself and go about your day. If they decide to use the Internet as a weapon, then document everything, investigate as to which laws they might be breaking, and file a police report, then go about your business as if they don't exist.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cyberbullies Troll on Job Seeker's Creative Resume

A lot of us can relate to Jamie Kyle. He's a 28-year-old creative looking for work in London, United Kingdom. Job hunting is hard enough without a bunch of trolls trying to sabotage your efforts.

Kyle came up with a cool idea of handing out scratch cards to potential employers, where the prize was the ability to recruit a professional artist and illustrator. His idea was innovative enough to capture some positive attention in the socialsphere, including a Buzzfeed post.

Enter Reddit, which seemed to give him the most grief. Posting examples of his work there triggered an onslaught of haters.

One can never appease, or erase, the hateful posts of a cyberbully, even when you just want to apply for a job.

This Mirror story offers up some help for those who might find themselves in a similar position.