Saturday, August 18, 2018

Hacking, Spam and Phishing Emails/Text, Social Ads to Robocalls - The New Threat

As much as I'm avid techno follower with the first Trillion dollar company while looking forward to spending my retirement savings invested with technology, it bothers me on the downside effects to my daily living on the "New Threats".

The last few nights made me think about getting woken up with these app notifications. You turn them off, moreover even uninstall them, then as the sun goes up you check your emails. Low and behold as you check your emails as much as the email systems are getting better to moving junk, spam, promotional emails away from your inbox, you still have to mark some and delete them from your inbox. The next thing you do is browse your hundreds of spam and junk, block them and the domains. The next morning the same subjects you just blocked yesterday are back using different email address and domains. But in common sense you would wonder why these junk emails are using the same subjects and formats from those you had already blocked thinking they're gone. These scenario in itself is non ending daily routine. Then you go to this social and promotional emails or even those in your inbox, link to un-subscribed which even sometimes brings you to the home page website of the sender where you confirm you want to un-subscribed. Guess what, when you check in a few days and they are back. Prior to these heavy hacking on the elections, if you still get an email from a site you have already un-subscribed, you can file a complaint and these websites can be banned or penalized. It was that simple as reporting telemarketers continuously calling your phone after you have reported them and removed your number from the marketing numbers to be called. This is why I say there is a "New Threat" as there is no stopping on these attacks and annoyances. 

Worst case from your land line, to your cell phone, to even google voice and what's up phone numbers comes the daily VOIP robocalls. If you dare answer which at times you may as they've gone sophisticated using a number your familiar with then the more doom you are as the more calls your gonna get in addition. Robocalls are more commonly known as telemarketing calls but they were actually started being used by politicians making those electioneering calls. So yes, robocalls can be said to be also related to these on-going threats as for one they are non traceable so one has been caught yet. These callers are even using legitimate companies showing in your caller ID and also in there voice messages. They may be from a Consul General, Embassy,, etc..,

The phishing emails and text although have been in reality for a while, one can still be a victim as again they are now more individualized to a person that can be deceiving as it may use a name or topic familiar to us. There are even those so called emails with a subject on your generic password or a password you may use in the past saying you better pay their block mail amount or less see yourself online having sex etc..,

Although smart phones are really quite hard to infiltrate being a mobile device, guess what if you do click on a text link you just gave permission to hack your phone and your life.

I'm not going to elaborate much on Social Media accounts and advertisements as by now we all know about this in the past recent months. What I can say is that influencing psychological thinking and behaviors for the mere purpose of profit depicted the  very purpose of social media influence of connecting people. The hardest part of the challenges in here is that computers and algorithms running infrastructures just to approve a social media ad  due to the bulk quantities is not acceptable. Normal people being banned to a post they may have not even have posted themselves is another example of a platform managed by computers instead of humans. Hence, later on hundreds or even thousands of fake accounts to be discovered and removed together with fake ads. 

Not like in the old days, you either call the authorities, right a letter, file a complaint or even report unanimously. Today's world is very complicated and sad to say there's not really much help but to be personally vigilant and watch your own back.  Hopefully, as technology goes further towards the 22nd century more research and laws can be enacted as for sure these new threats are gonna get more sophisticated in time.

Alex Esguerra
ADLE International