Upon reading the title, one might conjure a vision of a new breed of MMA-trained bad guys, terrorists using Kalashnikovs and suicide vests.
Truth is that, while those are (sadly) becoming common occurrences, monetary crimes are still king (and I am not talking about being held up at an ATM by a gun-toting criminal nor mugged in a dark alley by some junkie needing cash for his fix).
While Personal Protection is an umbrella approach to self-defence, coving all aspects of Violence, how many of us really take the time to improve online safety?
Someone once told me that Senshido, while excellent at unarmed combat, including the pre and post contact aspects of violence survival, should “Just focus on hand to hand combat”.
I beg to differ.
Because Senshido teaches a holistic and evolutionary approach to self-preservation, it has to include other facets of personal defence, such as firearms, edge weapons use, among other things.
While I personally do not teach weapon handling or weapon proficiency skills (Being from Ireland where civilians are prohibited from carrying firearms), other Senshido instructors, namely from the U.S and the Middle East, do.
All of our instructors do, however, use the Internet and so do billions of people worldwide.
But, mention the words “Online Safety” and “Senshido” in the same sentence, and cries of “That’s not self-protection; just stick to what you’re good at.”
I am sorry, but the most common attacks, those in which we pride ourselves on teaching, are not the only form of attack anymore. In the past week, I have experienced three attempted robberies, with the latest being this morning.
All of those were Internet-based phishing attacks, a very popular method used by felons every day of the week against ordinary people to separate them from their hard-earned money.
Let me deconstruct the latest, as I am pretty sure you have all come across something similar at some point, or probably will.
Being from Ireland, I have an account with Bank of Ireland, one of our main banks in the country. Said bank provides an E-banking service called “Banking 365”, to which I am subscribed. Early today, I receive this email, which at first glance looked quite legitimate, so I open it.
Now, the sender knows that I have opened the mail and that this email address is a live one, making it a recipient for a boatload of spam. However, as soon as I opened the email , alarm bells went off Immediately:
Here is my bank, contacting me by email, asking me to login to my account and confirm my Identity, a probable situation however unlikely.
But let’s just assume for a moment that my spider senses are still dormant. After all, the sender is only enquiring if this transaction was correct. To confirm or cancel the payment, you only need a quick log in and out using the link provided.
Ok so I decided to call my bank to get confirmation about the mail, but after being put on hold by customer services for 5 minutes, I got sick and tired and hang up.
Because I wanted closure, I opened my browser and typed:
This is an easy to use, online program that will now give me the location of the email sender, by using the full header of the email. Copy and paste it in, click find source and bingo!
Much to my surprise, the source IP address was from Romania.
Now why the hell would Bank of Ireland email me from Romania, asking me to login to my account and confirm my Identity?
In a series of quick steps I now have spotted a potential scam and avoided becoming a victim of hackers.
Nobody held a knife to my throat, put me in a headlock, or grappled me to the ground. But somebody did try to rob me in a sneaky yet increasingly common way. Im no IT specialist, I know my way around a computer and have taken some courses in online safety, that doesn’t make me an expert, but it has served its purpose.
So your thoughts, Is online safety part of your self protection package?
Senshido – So much more than just self defence.