Larry Brauner

The title of this article is purely sensational — as you might expect on April Fools Day. However, the article itself is real and highlights the annoyances and threats that we constantly face when using the Internet and social networking sites.

Before the Net became part of our lives, we worried about pickpocketing,  mugging, burglary, armed robbery and a variety of scams that include make-believe charities, phony investment schemes and identity theft.

Today we must also worry about viruses and malware, phishing and more sophisticated web-based scams including a plethora of silly business schemes, and widespread online fraud and identity theft.

Ning, Twitter and MySpace Attacked

Hundreds of Ning social networks including mine, Outside the Box and Let’s Follow Each Other, were attacked over the past week by “free ringtones” spam. Bogus users popped up everywhere and posted their free ringtones spam on as many member profiles as they could.

Network creators and administrators reacted by changing their site settings to require new member approval. This measure has stopped the free ringtones girl but not without some ongoing inconvenience to both administrators and would-be site members.

Similar spam outbreaks occur frequently on Twitter and MySpace where no simple solution is yet in sight.

Forewarned is Forearmed

Spam is only the tip of the iceberg.

Think BEFORE you click on any link or respond to any pop up including those that offer to upgrade to new versions of your existing software. It’s advisable to write down the name of the software mentioned and check the vendor’s site directly for legitimate updates.

Close pop up windows using Alt-F4 on your keyboard. Do not press ANY buttons, as labeling can be fake and malicious. Pressing buttons can initiate the downloading of some very nasty and hard-to-remove malware to your computer such as Trojans and rootkits.

The most likely places to pick up harmful malware are e-mails you receive, social networking sites, blogs and forums. Make sure you keep your system and virus protection current, but don’t rely on anti-malware programs to protect you. Use caution and common sense.

As far as make money from home schemes are concerned, most of them are time wasters if not outright ripoffs.

If you are serious about finding a legitimate work from home opportunity, contact me, and I’ll point you in the right direction. However, it’s a fact that even the best home businesses usually flop.

Very Useful Information

I found the blog PC Speed Guru very informative and helpful. Any Internet security blogs or websites that you’ve found to be useful, please post them below in a comment.

But no spam, please!

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If you found this page useful, consider linking to it.
Simply copy and paste the code below into your web site (Ctrl+C to copy)
It will look like this: Free Ringtones Girl Caught in the Act and Captured

16 Responses to “Free Ringtones Girl Caught in the Act and Captured”

  1. Sandy on April 1st, 2009 5:11 pm

    This is a great article and good information for everybody to know. We forget how easy it is to fall into traps these days and the spammers are getting better and better at deceiving people. Thanks for posting this

  2. Laura on April 1st, 2009 5:28 pm

    Hoping you “highlight” my business… which I am doing quite well with since joining all these social networks. I love them. They are a wonderful tool for meeting people and networking.

    You’re great and I love ya Larry.

    Keep up the good work!

    Your friend,

  3. Laura on April 1st, 2009 5:32 pm

    Considering I coined the phrase “ring tone girl” and went around all the networks to warn about her (I have 3 myself) and she really p’d me off. I thought that was a great way to get everyone’s attention to “boot” her…

    Anyway, great article Larry!

    Talk to you soon,

  4. Jeanine Mercer on April 1st, 2009 5:51 pm

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for the “heads up” we all need that, but I hope nobody went for that silly scam anyway.

    When you talked about sites that actually work, have you advertised your own sites where you are making money on?

  5. Stacey Chadwell on April 1st, 2009 5:58 pm

    Very good article Larry. I did not know the Alt + F4. It will certainly be used in the future! Thank you!

    Keep up the good work!


  6. Morgan Mandel on April 1st, 2009 7:19 pm

    Thanks, Larry.

    I’ll have to remember Alt-F4. I usually do Ctrl-Alt-Delete if I can’t get out of something.

    I don’t know if Ning was able to do anything about the ringtones girl. What I did on my network is ban her. I had zillions of comments on my page at Book Place, since I’m its owner. On the other Ning networks I belong to, I only received one comment per network. I did notify some of the owners to ban the member ASAP, but that’s no guarantee a repeat won’t happen.

    And what about the Oriental writing in the comment section on blogs? Don’t know what it says, so I don’t know if it’s spam. Other people have had it also. I delete it, but don’t know what else to do about it.

    Morgan Mandel

  7. Sandee Robbins on April 1st, 2009 10:28 pm

    Thanks for the “chuckle” today! April 1st!!

    You always bring a smile to my reading!

  8. The Divine Miss White on April 1st, 2009 10:30 pm

    As a former journalist I have a healthy appreciation for fabulous headlines.

    Kudos Larry - you got my attention :=)

  9. Steve on April 1st, 2009 11:41 pm

    Larry, I respect you for always adding so much value with your well thought out posts. I think you need to put your own information products out soon! Rather than trying to remember what to do when certain suspicious links come up, I’m just going to come back to this site and read your post :)

  10. Larry Brauner on April 2nd, 2009 12:29 am

    @Jeanine I don’t advertise. I build my web presence, network and build relationships. I don’t think in terms of sites working or not but in term of me working or not. It’s not just semantics. It’s a whole different approach to marketing.

    @Steve This blog is my information product. I give information away so that people can get to know me.

  11. Debbie Morgan on April 2nd, 2009 12:47 pm

    Hi Larry! Thanks for the great info. As you know my web site is dedicated to helping with the dangers we face outside of the Net. The new ones the Net has unwittingly fostered are no less in need of protection from, and your ideas are wonderful. Glad you took the time to publish them for us!

  12. Loya on April 2nd, 2009 10:50 pm

    Ingenious Larry, got me! Thanks for the cautions.

    Your Friend,


  13. ripoff report on April 3rd, 2009 5:51 pm

    Larry, you are such a trickster, your subject tricked me good!

    I have recently come into contact with Ringtones Girl and the spam that has flooded in is ridiculous.

    I usually stick to reputable websites to avoid viruses and spam, but recently one of my favorite website was targeted.

    Unfortunately I was affected and picked up a Trojan virus. This virus was undeletable from my machine with my anti-virus software. I went into the registry and tried many different things to get rid of it. Finally had to suck it up and reformat my hard drive.

    The virus won, and I wont let that happen again.

  14. Jared|Speakwealthnow on April 4th, 2009 9:08 am

    Sometimes, surfing online means being cautious and careful about everything. Pop ups come out everywhere and sometimes, our reflexes and curiosity fail us so we click on and end up disappointed and irritated.

    We just need to play safe because there is really no sure security when it comes to the Internet.

  15. MadMadMargo on April 4th, 2009 5:42 pm

    Thank you so much publishing this most helpful information.

  16. Wilma on September 6th, 2010 8:47 pm

    Thanks for the concern Dude. This is really want we need to avoid those things that we don’t really want from the Internet.

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