Nightmare After SSL Expires, Who You Gonna Call?

January is a fresh start for the year. To all people around the world, embracing 2014 with a smile will give a prosperous life for the whole year.

But in every new year, there is an ending story. Expiration. Not knowing when your SSL Certificate will expire is feeling like Jayson and Freddie will haunt you for not properly maintaining security for your website.

SSL certificates have expiration dates and these are nothing like other services that automatically renews its versions. Much like a driver’s license, you have to renew it with the authorities. If you let your certificate expire, there will be consequences that will bring nuisance to your business.

Effects to website owner
•    No matter how powerful your PR is, the trust of your clients and other users will decrease.Especially if the payment process is done within your website as there is no sign that will give the assurance that they are safe.
•    Once the trust is broken, even long-term clients may decline partnership sales and revenue will go down with increased shopping basket abandonments
•    Your corporate brand and reputation will be affected  and it will lead your business at risk. Moreover, brand awareness will turn into a negative image
For Website user
Warning error messages displayed by browsers when visiting the site
Personal information at risk from man-in-the-middle attacks
Individual susceptible to fraud and identity theft

See the images below of an expired security certificate


dg1dg2dg3The pictures above are the results when web security expires. All warning messages vary from browser to browser. You will see that the messages are inconsistent, and if you are an end user, without a second thought you will simply click through the error messages without fully reading or understanding the actual message itself. Advice from a certificate authority, all warning messages are read and responded appropriately to prevent an automatic ignoring of message and clicking through to the site.

If you are unsure in fixing this issue, call your issuer right away or click “Help me understand” or “Learn More” page. It provides links that will help you fix the problem.

Government websites are the easiest access for the public to communicate with the government and obviously, these places are perfect target for cyber-crimes. To secure information and other data, it is an obligation for government to ensure that the national infrastructures are safe and make a move to eliminate risk of hacking. (Click here for more details).

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#1 Online Shoppers, Watch Out for The Online Thieves

2facefraudOnline shopping is the most relaxing way to buy gifts and purchase any services and items. However, there is no assurance that shopping online is 100% safe because of the presence of fraudsters. Remember, not all ads and posts are legit because anybody can create a bogus account in Social Media and even create a fake website.

To have a safe online shopping, follow these DO’S and DON’TS tips:


  • As much as possible, go only to online retailers/brands you personally know and trust. You can explore other websites if it is referred by your trusted friends and families. If you are visiting the page for the first time, do the necessary background check and read the FAQ  and ABOUT US page.
  • Be careful when dealing with sellers in other countries. Try read his behavior through the way he talks and the tone of his voice. If you are in doubt, don’t deal with the company.
  • Check, read, and understand the delivery, insurance, warranty and returns policy of the company.
  • Be more careful when purchasing expensive items. You have to be 100% sure that the company is legit.
  • Always get a good anti-virus software or if you already have, update it. It flags or blocks any untrustworthy sites.
  • If you are purchasing known brands, you better go to their official websites to find a list of authorized sellers
  • If you have doubt to the reseller do not purchase at all. Trust your instincts!


  • Don’t give your personal information especially credit cards to a reseller without doing a background check.
  • Don’t click pop-out links if you’ve open a shopping website. Pop-out links may contain such virus.



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#2 Don’t be Fooled By The Bogus E-tailers

net fraudster
Cybercriminals can defy the odds and forge the identities of even the largest enterprises. That said, e-tailers are at higher risk of being falisifed. The only way to find out if the e-tailers are legit is to do a background check and ask the major brands their trusted and accredited e-tailers are.

To avoid bogus E-tailers, here are the DON’TS and DO’S

  • Don’t give your credit card details easily. Even a reseller tells you that this a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ special offer. For them, you are a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ victim. Then it is too late when you find out that your bank account is empty.


  • Check the names and web addresses carefully.
  • Take time to read their company’s background and testimonials from their customers.
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#3 Email Link And Attachements With A Surprise Headache

email scamNowadays, spam messages are so common that  no one is alarmed to have them in their electronic mailboxes. Good thing, most email clients already have a dedicated folder for these messages. As this is automated however, we cannot expect that everything is filtered. Most email messages that appear to be normal emails still contain spam links. Now, if you get curious and decide to about opening the email message, please stop yourself.

Firstly, if the  sender appears very suspicious, don’t be engrossed on clicking the links provided. It may contain malware or virus that has an ability to steal information from your email account and destroys your computer system. Additionally, the suspicious messages are sent randomly in order to take their chance there will be people who’ll get interested with their tactic.

There are things that you need to consider:


  • Once you receive a suspicious message, don’t reply with their request
  • Do not click on links in emails from unknown sources. To check the source, hover your mouse over the link. The link source will be displayed and at the bottom left corner of your screen.
  • Do not make purchases and/or give charity donations to spam email
  • Don’t click ‘remove’ or reply to unwanted email


  • Always remember that reputable companies never ask for personal/financial information via email. If they need such personal information, they will request you to go to their offices.
  • Always have an anti-virus software protection or update it.
  • If someone sends you an email asking you to verify the details, and there are no hints of the legitimacy of the entity, contact directly the company for the confirmation
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#4 Promised Holiday Deals Evaporated In The Air

horrorChristmas gives people the opportunity to travel and experience new cultures and this is the perfect season to scout and look forward to travel vouchers and seat sales. Since information on marked down tickets are usually disseminated via Social Media sites where accounts may easily be falsified, shoppers need to be more vigilant and quick to notice which ad is legit and which one is counterfiet.

Fraudsters actively take part of the festive season through creating fake holiday ads offering discounted prices and other incredible deals. Sometimes, they will send text messages or call the victim to say that there is a last minute deal or you that she/he won from a raffle promo which she/he can’t didn’t join.

Here are the DO’S AND DON’TS FOR for this fraud:


  • Simply don’t respond to a suspicious message


  • When reviewing travel deals, it is safe to rely solely on reputable companies which are members of atoL, or aBta protected. Verification of protected status will be completed by contacting the civil aviation authority, the association of independent tour operators, or the travel association (aBta)
  • Never trust a company which requires people to shell out cash first before getting the ‘freebie’. What’s the sense of it being free if you need to pay for it.
  • If the company does not accepting credit cards for payments, a good option is to book  at their ticketing office.
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#5 When E-Cards Tell Lie

The digital era has offered a number of ways of sending greetings and other messages especially to geographically distant people. However, fraudsters may use this technological advantage to harm your computer and even steal information through a phishing link.

If you don’t want to be their victim, here are the basic do’s and don’ts.


  • If someone sends you an e-card, check its source first. Don’t click it and nor open your email. If it came from an anonymous sender, never hesitate to delete it from your inbox as it may be infected with malwares.


  • Always make sure your anti-virus program is updated. It provides suitable protection against malware and any computer virus.
  • If you suspect that your computer has been compromised, switch it off and disconnect from the internet to prevent any further information from being sent to the criminals
  • If you feel someone has stolen some information, especially financial accounts, from your computer or any device, call your bank and request for immediate suspension of your card  and update your account details.


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#6 The Impostor of Social Networking Sites

pf viewer scamYou can truly live your dreams in Social Media. You can be a rockstar or superhero without the entire world knowing your real identity. But what if fraud masters are smarter than you?

Creating personas for individuals or corporations is easy with just a few clicks. Sometimes, there is no need for cybercriminals to use hacking application to acquire information of a company or of an individual. All they need to do is to create a new profile and pretend to be you or the corporation. With the help of bogus ad and false information, they can fool anybody. To make things worse, they may hack an already existing account and use it to fool lure its network and friends to a scam or start the phishing attack.

To avoid this fraud, here are the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’


  • Avoid talking about and sharing your personal and financial details on your social media accounts.
  • To remain private, go to privacy and account settings to limit your page to only those whom you wish to profile page and activities.
  • Don’t be fooled by suspicious messages asking for money as these are the usual tactics of hackers to compromise accounts and pretend that they are friends, colleagues, and one of your family members and etc., then send messages asking for financial support. Once you receive any suspicious message, contact your families, friend and colleagues immediately via different platforms of communication to confirm the legitimacy of the message.
  • Do not share information such as your birth date, your first pet, or school on your status updates as these are normally included in security questions to reset your password. If the fraudsters know these information, they will use these answers to access your account via the “Forgot Password” link
  • Beware on installing third party add-on programs. If you are not familiar with the add-ons, don’t use them. You can ask forums first or ask friends how reliable the said add-ons are. Remember, there such apps used to compromise personal information and your computer.


  • Ask a trusted retailer of the item you wish to buy from a reseller in Social Media.
  • You must have an anti-virus software that will block virus and even flag suspicious sites
  • Keep your wifi password safe. Choose a password which is not obvious and easy to memorize by anyone
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#7 An Angel In Disguise In Online

charityLove and share- That’s the spirit of Christmas. People around the world are more than willing to donate food and money. More so today, with the recent occurences of natural calamities to the people of Leyte, Philippines and other parts of Visayas area who are victims of Yolanda.

December is a perfect time for charities to ask help from people and donate. Consequently, December is also the perfect time for cyber criminals to strike… Remember, posers can also be your friendly charitable institution.

To avoid this kind of fraud, here are the DOs and DON’Ts


  • Visit the charity’s location and check their official website by typing the website address into the browser. Avoid clicking on a hyperlink embedded in an email, this may contain a virus.
  • Before you donate to a charity’s website, check if this is secure. Remember, a secure website has padlock favicon before the web address.
  • Make sure that the charity is legitimate before sharing your personal details, or debit/credit card or online banking information
  • If you want to donate to disaster relief abroad like the victims of Yolanda in the Philippines, you could consider donating via the Disasters Emergency Committee website
  • If you are still in any doubt with the website, cast your donations directly to their office.
  • If your instincts tell you that you may have given your account details to an impostor or bogus charity, contact your bank immediately


  • Once you receive unsolicited emails from charities you haven’t heard from your entire life, or have no association with, don’t reply and do not click the links in the content. Report and delete.
  • Do not grant requests to donate through a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram as money transfer company is the only way for fraudsters not to be tracked easily.
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#8 What Your Mom Doesn’t Know About Frauds On Making Payments And Services Online

online paymentOne of the common scenarios during the holidays is the Christmas rush. If you are like Paris Hilton who have lots of connections, networks, families, friends, colleagues, friends, classmates, and whatever, that you need to give gifts, you are obliged to find the easiest way to purchase items.

It is now possible to shop for gifts without going to the malls in a crowd frenzy. With just a few clicks, you can order your items and just wait a couple of days for your door to door delivery.

The internet is a bridge for easy communication and transaction over the phone, computers, credit cards, and insurance. So today, you can transact items and wait right at your doorstep. The downside is, if the connection is not secure, all important details can be obtained by anyone (as long they have the knowledge and software). To avoid this fraud, here are the DO’S and DON’TSDO’S

  • Keep in mind that when you make credit card payments, it demands high-maintenance protection against fraud.
  • Before clicking confirm, double check all details of your payment
  • Make a background check of the website by checking the ‘About Us’ page and contact details. Know the founder and other details before you decide to enter payment details on their website.
  • If you make a payment to an individual, trust only a secure payment site like PayPal. Note: Don’t transfer money directly into their bank account
  • Check the website’s privacy policy
  • Practice logging out of the sites where you registered to ensure that your details and private messages are secure.
  • Keep your receipts
  • Check your bank statements regularly so you can track the activities of your account
  • When your payment process is done, check credit card and bank statements carefully to ensure that the correct amount has been debited, and track that no fraud has taken place as a result of the transaction
  • Always get an antivirus software, or if you already have one, get an updated anti-virus/anti-spyware software and firewall running before you go online


  • For any online transaction, don’t give credit bank account information right away, especially if you don’t know the person well.
  • For online payment, trust only websites which have digital certificates as all important details that you will share are protected with the help of encryption.
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#9 How Money Transferring Frauds Can Make You Sick

money transfer

Our hard-earned money is always set for something important in the near future.  If we fall as victims to money transferring fraud, we can somehow imagine ourselves doing something awful to these nasty online criminals.

One of the cases of money transferring frauds is when a cybercriminal pretends as a reseller will and  ask his customer to pay all his orders by card on a said to be secured payment page. Sometimes, by electronic cheques. After 1 to 5 business days, the customer doesn’t receive anything from the reseller. And worse, he can’t even contact his reseller anymore.

To avoid this kind of fraud, here are theDOs:

  • Always secure your computer with an anti-virus
  • Create a pin code for your credit card and wifi password which are not very obvious or easy to guess.


  • Don’t send money transfer for online purchases
  • Don’t send funds from a cheque in your account if it is not yet officially clear. Usually the clearance takes weeks
  • Don’t send money in advance for obtaining a loan or credit card
  • Don’t send money to someone you have not met personally
  • Don’t send money for paying taxes’ or ‘processing fees’ on lottery or prize winnings
  • Don’t share your bank information to people or businesses you do not know (in short, don’t trust strangers)
  • Don’t send money for an emergency situation without confirmationif you are not sure it is true and none of your family confirms that there is an emergency.
  • Don’t open an attachment or click a link, and reply to an unsolicited email claiming to be from a money transfer service.


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