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Beginning Microsoft® Visual Basic® 2008 by Bryan Newsome, Thearon Willis

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Appendix C. An Introduction to Code Security and SSL

In today's electronic world, consumers are bombarded with scams via the Internet and e-mail. If you plan to write applications that take advantage of these technologies, you must be aware of fraudulent activity of others. The most rampant activity today is a tactic known as phishing. In this scam, a fraudulent e-mail or pop-up message lures a user to a fake web site on the pretext that a breach in bank security or unwanted account activity has made it necessary to verify the user's account information. Tricked users will see a site that looks like their bank's site but is actually being hosted by criminals in an attempt to bait users into entering their personal and financial information. In these schemes, it is easy for concerned customers to be tricked and enter their card number, social security number, or PIN into the web forms to avoid their accounts being frozen. Little do they know they are giving away their private information to thieves.

Phishing is not the only scam consumers must deal with, but it is one of the most prevalent. As a developer, it is your job to make applications safe. The use of certain features in your application can make it easier for criminals to impersonate you. If your application avoids asking for personal information that you do not need over e-mail or the Web, users may be more alert to a scam when it occurs. You can never assume that e-mail will not be intercepted over the Internet. Make sure ...

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