How not to fall victim of yahoo boys
Mug shots of young Nigerians intercepted by security operatives over their involvement in Internet fraud and other cyber crimes are becoming commonplace on the pages of newspapers, as well as on online platforms.
Tunji Akinrele, a computer engineer and web designer, acknowledgers that the emergence of innovative software has provided a platform for many criminally-minded youths to use same in committing Internet fraud. Akinrele said cyber criminals are very conversant with configuring computer programme that triggers fake payment alerts to sellers of goods that they intend to scam. He added that they equally have good knowledge of cyber environment, a development that facilitates that creation of fake credit cards using Cyber Ghost 12.
These cyber criminals resort to the creation of phoney credit cards using Cyber Ghost 12 HTTP/tunnel.com on the Internet at no cost. And once the credit card matures, they would use it to monitor and hack into any account, including Swiss account.” Upon the creation of these cards, the holders are now better placed to manipulate any transaction done by any of their targeted victims. Ultimately, they end up wiring the funds to their phoney credit cards.”
He added that some of the money that these elements fleece their victims are also invested in the acquisition of software to protect their criminal activities against being spotted easily. “In fact, some of the software that they acquire such as Dare Devil could be used to shut down CCTV cameras and facilitate their access into computer systems that are Internet-linked.
In corroborating Akinrele claims, Kingsley Roberts of Netelcom Technologies revealed that cyber criminals/hackers have done immense damage to unsuspecting members of the public, who are careless in handling sensitive personal information.Roberts added that many inadvertently expose themselves to danger when they resort to the use of easy-to-remember passwords, put vital information on the Internet, or use one password to log into all their computer systems. He stressed that using one password to log into all system/devices, easily exposes the user to attack.
The Netelcom Technologies boss alleged that the situation is so bad now as some hackers are even in possession of software that could authorise Google search engine, and some social media platforms to divulge passwords and phone numbers in their depository.He added that from this process, the hackers monitor would chose passwords at random and begin to try them on the systems. Roberts also advised computer users to stay away from strange email messages, as such could be baits to test any of the chosen passwords.
According to him, “inputting any information, or doing any transaction on the Internet is like trading in the air and those that have grasp of the workings of the system could manipulate such transactions in their favour.“Huge sums of money are daily lost to these cyber thieves because we lack the technical know-how to secure our Internet and computer systems. So, stop hackers from breaking into your Internet or computer systems, avoid the use of one password for access into enter multiple systems; change your password at least once every three months, and use long and complex passwords that include both upper and lowercases, as well as, figures. This is because the more complex your passwords are, the more difficult it becomes for hackers to have their way.
“The idea of having complex passwords is simply because it puts most Internet fraudsters off, and most times some computer sets also find them difficult to accept. So, before these criminals are able to monitor one long enough to the point of attempting to hack in, the owner would have changed the password. This is one of the only ways to make things difficult for them,” he said.
He equally called on financial houses to upgrade their e-transaction platforms in order to stem loses accruing from this avenue. “Our banks are still conservative and porous, they are not secure because the Windows system that most of them still use is obsolete, and hackers can easily hack into their accounts online. Aside this, they do not have trained personnel to man this sensitive departments, which is the major reason we hear depositors’ account being hacked.
“If the banks and other agencies involved in money transfer and sundry online payments upgrade their systems from time-to-time, get professional hackers to monitor intrusion and train their staff on the need to keep their computer systems safe by not visiting unauthorised sites, or accepting mails from them, cyber fraud will drop drastically,” he said.
On how to keep safe from Internet fraudsers, Bartholomew Ejere, a web designer and software dealer advised Internet users to treasure and secure their passwords the way they secure their Bank Verification Number (BVN) and desist from doing most transactions online. He further advised individuals that move, or transact large sums of money to have a relationship with their account manager, as this would enable them get early transaction notice about their money before they are even notified through transaction alert.
And for big organisations that can afford the cost, he said the installation of firewalls on their computer sets remains a good idea, adding that these software act like security officers and could notify the owner of system of intruders and as well shut them out.
In view of the rising trend of Internet fraud, Wahab Olumide, an automobile dealer is cautioning the business class against parting with their wares without full confirmation from their banks that cash has hit their accounts. Olumide, who has been a victim of Yahoo Boys said ever since he adopted the approach himself, he has not had a reason to lament.
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