Friday, August 15, 2008

Is your computer safe: from the Better Business Bureau

Steve J. Bernas President & CEO

Tel: 312-245-2514
Fax: 312-832-1907
Cell: 312-848-8437

330 N. Wabash Ave Suite 2006
Chicago, IL 60611


Is Your Computer Taking You Where You Want To Go?

Chicago, IL, August 14, 2008- The Better Business Bureau warns that if you use your computer to buy or sell items, or do other financial transactions, requiring passwords and user IDs, you should confirm the online security of those Web sites. And you need to make sure the latest patches to stop criminals from diverting users to fake Web sites where a user’s personal and financial data could be stolen have been installed.

“For every new use that your computer enables you to do, there always seems to be another negative, nefarious or criminal use that often counters the benefits,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Bernas explains that on July 30, 2008 the New York Times printed an article about a flaw in the Domain Name System. This Internet-wide system translates Web site addresses that most users can understand into numeric versions that computers understand.

The flaw allows a criminal to redirect Web traffic to a fake site that looks like the intended Web site. This would allow the person to steal the user’s name, password and other information. There would be little or no indication of the user’s misdirection.

“This is a global problem but it is our understanding that many of the large Internet providers, such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have fixed the problem for their customers,” Bernas says. But he adds “for consumers to insure the safety of their personal information they need to check with their internet providers”.

This issue affects businesses as well so it is equally important that IT departments and network administrators take the necessary steps to safeguard their systems. That includes contacting the webmasters of the sites that you visit to make sure that the appropriate system patch has been installed.

“As with any type of potential identity theft, it is often difficult to determine what’s been done,” Bernas notes. “It’s always a good practice to look at all your credit card and other financial transaction records on a regular basis to spot any that are unauthorized.”

Additional information about the Better Business Bureau and this specific situation can be obtained by going to, or contacting the BBB at: 312-832-0500.


About the BBB

As private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.

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