Internet Insecurity - Invasion of the Bad Guys

I reserved a car with Hertz. Maybe I didn’t. In day 4 of the Invasion of the Bad Guys on my computers, I have seen system takeovers, link redirects, and emails from unknowns. Good unknowns or disruptive unknowns is, well, unknown. Case in point - yesterday I found what appeared to be a $20 a day deal with Hertz from the AAA website. The price was 50% less than I saw elsewhere so I booked. Confirmation came via email from something called PAY FOR IT NOW AND SAVE. What? After 10 minutes of searching on Google, I believe the entity is related to Travelocity. And I did plug in the confirmation number on and the reservation appears legitimate. If that’s the case, what is AAA thinking in this Moments of Trust failure? It’s understandable if you outsource the reservation system, but to have your customer have to spend time verifying the transaction is irresponsible and damaging to your brand. If you think I’m being overly cautious, last week was my turn in spyware and malware hell. A spyware program first hijacked my Windows 7 computer. After company IT “cleaned” it, another program appeared minutes later. Oh, and later in the day, links in my search engines redirected to sites certainly after my credit card information and my sense of security. Supposedly we’re good now. Then this morning, on a MacBook Pro, attempts to log into two websites redirected me to elongated and unfamiliar URLs. Supposedly this is nothing more than a hosting issue. Maybe. In recent weeks, I’ve written about my refusal to conduct Internet banking. Mobile banking is even more a long shot given its nascency. According to a recent study, 19 percent of consumers are less cautious using the Internet on their mobile device than on a computer. People, get a clue. Take more care or it will be PAY FOR IT LATER AND CRY. (Article first published as Internet Insecurity - Invasion of the Bad Guys on Technorati)