Email Phishing Scam

**I am reposting this blog because there is another pretty effective phishing scam going around.

The bottom line is…if you are already logged into your account, Google, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (just kidding)…DO NOT log in again if you click on a link that asks you to do so again. It is probably a scam.

There is a pretty effective phishing scam going on over the last little while that primarily targets Gmail users. However, in this blog post there is advice that can be applied to basically any of the Internet tools we use, including Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace (just kidding).

In case you don’t know, phishing is a way for nefarious characters (people up to bad things) to try and get access and control of your email or Internet tool without you knowing. Once they have access and control, they can send out more scammy-spammy-phishing emails under your name.

In the phishing scam that I have recently heard about, essentially what happens is that you receive an email from somebody in your contact list. Totally normal looking email from someone you know. In that email is an attachment, typically a picture or what looks like a PDF.

As Google mail normally does, the attachment is a small image in the bottom left hand corner of the email. When you se the attachment, you can choose to download the attachment, view it, or save to Google Drive. The key to this phishing scam is that the photo/attachment looks absolutely realistic.

Because the photo/attachment looks VERY legit, you click on it. The next thing that happens is that a new screen or tab will open up saying that in order to view the photo you need to log into your Google account.

This is where the problems begin because if you do as the new page suggests and you log into your account the second time, then your account is virtually immediately compromised. Or as we say, you’ve been hacked.

As a rule of thumb, whenever you see a screen asking you to log into a tool like Gmail or Facebook when you are already logged into your account, that is typically when bad things begin to happen.

With the phishing scam that’s going around Gmail right now it is often within minutes that your account is compromised. And then once your account is compromised, the hackers are able to send out more phishing scam emails from your account to all the people on your contact list.

The best way to protect yourself from these sort of scams is to realize that if you were already logged into your account whether it’s your Google account your Facebook account or your MySpace account, it is extremely unlikely that you need to log into your account again.

phishing scam
The Green HTTPS

Another thing to keep in mind is that in the address bar at the top of the page, the text should say something like “https://…” and that text will be in green letters. And, just in case you didn’t know, the “s” at the end of “https” means “secure”.

If it is some nefarious character who is sent out the phishing scam email then it may be that the “http” text is in black. Or worst-case it is red.

Red means stop.

phishing scams
phishing scams

Another thing you might notice is that the address on the second screeen, the scam-phishing screen, the web address or the URL is preceded by the prefix “data:text/html.” That is NEVER the case with the authentic Google login page.

These are all pretty small things that you have to be aware of. But that is how you can protect yourself online – pay attention to the details!!

So, in conclusion, there are three things you can do to prevent your email account from getting hacked:

  1. Don’t log into your account if you already logged into your account.
  2. If you see red or black font in the address bar stop and check; ask yourself if this seems safe.
  3. If you see odd looking text between the https:// and the words “account, pause and double check. It may be a phishing scam.

Paying attention to the details is the best protection to keep you from being hacked.

Subscribing to Stacey Robinsmith dot com

I continue to learn new things about my blog now that I have made the big blog move. Initially I set up MailChimp so that people interested in subscribing to my blog would get a weekly update of the items I had posted.

Then I discovered a cool little thing called Jetpack for WordPress. Jetpack is a nifty little “plugin” that allows readers to comment on specific blog posts and, perhaps more importantly, allows readers to subscribe to my blog.

If you want to be notified whenever a blog post gets added to the blog, click the little box that says “Notify me of new posts by email”. As you can see in the photo above, it is located below the boxes where you add your name, email (which is never published or shared), and website.

Checking that box means that whenever I add content to the blog, you will get an email notification. If I post at 3am…you will get an email at 3am. Just a heads up. Although I rarely post stuff at 3am.

Anyway, feel free to stay with the weekly updates or do like the other cool kids and get the news as it comes off the presses. Your choice.

Thanks for reading!!

Why I Don’t Use Tech In the Classroom

I often hear my teaching colleagues say things like, “I don’t use technology in the classroom because there was that time I did try it and it didn’t work.”

Or, “I pressed a button and ALL my work disappeared and even my neighbour’s really tech-savvy son couldn’t get my work back!”

Wow. Imagine if we took that attitude about things like pens and pencils that fail? How often do we pick up a whiteboard marker and find it dried up so we can’t write on the board with it?

I made this short (and blurry) video to demonstrate my point.


Alice Keeler on Fixing Google Docs you Copy and Paste

Now that I have made the switch to using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for most of my teacher-stuff and lesson plans, I no longer struggle with the “all the beautiful formatting I did in the Word doc got messed up!”

That’s because when I want to write something or create an assignment, now I start out using Google Docs rather than Word or Pages. Formatting issues resolved.

However, during my transition time from using other writing programs like Word or Pages, I do remember facing those issues.

Alice Keeler, my thought-leader in all things Google has written a blog post on “how to fix tables” that you have copied and paste into a Google Doc.

Google Docs: Fixing Tables You Copied and Pasted

The pi-top CEED Tech Specs

pi-top CEED with Keyboard
pi-top CEED with Keyboard

I did a little research into the tech-specs of my new pi-top CEED and here they are:

Raspberry pi 3

  • A 1.2GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53p
  • 4 USB ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • Full HDMI port
  • Ethernet port
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1 (Bluetooth Classic and LE)
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera interface (CSI)
  • Display interface (DSI)\
  • Micro SD card slot
  • VideoCore IV 3D graphics core


  • 14” HD LCD screen with eDP interface
  • 1366×768 resolution
  • 2.6W power consumption
  • PWM screen brightness control (available from pi-topOS)
  • 262K colours
  • Anti-glare

pi-top CEED

After a loooooong wait, my pi-top CEED has finally arrived and is on my desk.

pi-top CEED Box
pi-top CEED Box

When I first opened the box for the pi-top CEED, I was a little nervous. I am a computer user – not a hardware tinkerer.

Box of Parts
Box of Parts

There in front of me was a box of parts. Yikes.

So I opened the instructions and started reading. Amazingly, in just a few steps I had the little magnetic feet clipped on the Raspberry pi breadboard and the board connected via the existing HDMI cable.

The Breadboard
The Breadboard

The breadboard has four USB connections and a plug-in for an Ethernet cable. The USB ports were very difficult to connect to and that made the breadboard jiggle a little. The only thing holding it in place are the four little plastic feet with a tiny (but powerful) magnets.

USB and Ethernet Ports
USB and Ethernet Ports

When I was trying to plug a USB cable for a keyboard into the port the magnets came loose, thus making the breadboard less securely held in place. I plan to get a tiny tube of glue and place a dab of glue on the magnets to get them to stay in the plastic feet.

pi-top CEED Open Front
pi-top CEED Open Front

Although the Raspberry Pi has gained lots of attenbtion, the cool thing about the pi-top CEED is that it has a monitor included in the package. For about $100 you can have a desktop computer.

pi-top CEED with Keyboard
pi-top CEED with Keyboard

The pi-top CEED is a funky little computer. The heart (brains?) of this machine is a Raspberry pi 3 breadboard that uses the Linux operating system and within 20 minutes of me opening the box of parts, I had the computer assembled and running.

It was an empowering feeling to take a box of parts and within a few minutes have a functioning computer on my desk!

As soon as I have had a chance to play with the pi-top CEED I will write more about the user experience.

My Archived Email Disappeared!!

The question about Google Mail that I get asked more often than any other question is, “where does an email go when you “archive” it?”

Well, there are a couple of places that your email may have gone. First, if you “labelled” the email it will be in the category that you labelled it with. The categories are located on the left hand side of your screen.

Inbox Screenshot of All Mail
Inbox Screenshot of All Mail

In short, it is removed from your Inbox and is then located inside the thing that looks strikingly similar to a folder but is not called a folder in the world of Google Mail.

A benefit of the Google Mail system of not using folders is that you can have more than one label on an email. For example, in my Google Mail inbox I can have labels such as “training” or “support” or “recipes” or even “stuff from mom”.

If you put an email into a folder, strictly speaking, it can only be in one folder whereas labels allow an email to have more than one label – I can label it as “recipes” and “stuff from mom” meaning it is then located in a couple of folders.

Once the email is labelled, you hit the archive button (the little down arrow) and then bam! the email is out of your inbox.

However, if you choose NOT to label an email and you hit archive, the email is still moved out of your inbox (hooray!!).

Inbox Screenshot of All Mail
Inbox Screenshot of All Mail

However, the question is – where did the unlabeled email end up. The answer is – in the category called “All Mail“.

You may not be able to see the category titled “All Mail” until you scroll to the bottom of your list of labels and have clicked on the “More” button. Then you can see the words “All Mail”.

“All Mail” is where all the mail that you have archived (intentionally or unintentionally) can be found.