internet security help please

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hikeNM, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. hikeNM macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2004
    Somewhere close to a dairy in East Texas
    Several years ago I convinced my parents to crawl out their hole and start using the "internets".

    They bought a Mac Mini and immediately loved it. My dad now spends most of his free time staring at Craigslist.

    He also started paying their bills online.

    My mother decided to buy an iPad when they were introduced and I set her up an iTunes account so she could purchase content.

    Within the past 6 months, they've had quite a bit of fraud, on a majority of their credit card accounts. Luckily, they've paid for none of it.

    Of course, they're now skeptical of the security of their computer.

    I realize that the timing of the fraud could be sheer coincidence, but I'm wondering if there are any programs that could help show if their computer is vulnerable, or possible causing any of the fraud?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The computer certainly isn't causing any fraud, perhaps it's some of the sites that they have used.
  3. hikeNM thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2004
    Somewhere close to a dairy in East Texas
    Yeah I keep assuring them that the computer isn't the cause. Is it possible to find out if a certain site is causing the problem?
  4. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    It's possible they fell for a phishing scam, but it would be very hard to track down any specific sites. I'd recommend they get smart on computer security and internet safety. There's tutorials online to do some of this. With people new to the internet it's hard to get everything across to them.

    Also, if they same credit cards are targeted, I would get new ones as once the hackers have it, they'll continue to attack it.
  5. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    I don't know if that helps, but have a look at Activity Monitor ( Applications / Utilities / ) and select All Processes and sort by Process Name to see what the culprit may be.

    image below uses sorting by CPU as an example

    Then press CMD+A to select all processes, CMD+C to copy them to the clipboard, and paste the clipboard into your next post via CMD+V.
  6. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    It's also possible they chose weak passwords for some account, or used the same (possibly weak) passwords for multiple accounts.

    Or it's possible that one or more of the vendors they used a credit card at has been breached.

    Or even a credit card skimmer at a store or gas station.

    Really, there are any number of ways for credit card numbers to be compromised, and without a lot more details, and possibly some kind of non-trivial forensics, it's unlikely to be able to tell exactly what the cause is.

    One way to tell if a particular site is a problem is to use one card, and only one card, at that site, and don't use that card at any other site. If the card is compromised, it's a pretty good indicator it's that site. Not 100% certain, because there are other avenues of attack, but they are far less likely than a compromised site.
  7. hikeNM thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2004
    Somewhere close to a dairy in East Texas
    Yeah I agree. Thanks for all the replies!
  8. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    On you parent's Mac mini (or netter their internet router) start using If you sign up for a free account you can block known phishing (the OpenDNS service using PhishTank to block sites, if you tell it to). The OpenDNS has an instructional video to show how using their site can help you.

    Plus it sounds as if your parents might have fallen victim to internet hijinks. This would have happen even from PCs. If fraudulent charges are appearing have you parents contact the banks that issued the cards and have then change the numbers, because it sounds as if the numbers have been stolen. I know this will be a pain but it is the safest thing your parents can do to make sure they are safe. Then sit them down and tell them the pitfalls of internet scams and how to have a critical eye for things on the internet & email. The old saying of 'to good to be true' rings more true on the internet today than ever before.

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