Tis the Season… to stay alert!
For those of you who celebrate at this time of year, you may well be making on-line purchases. You will not be surprised that this will mean that people who make money in different ways will be getting themselves ready to catch-you out. They will know that you more than likely to have parcels that are being delivered, you will be busy and may well take an action just because you are in a rush.
My suggestion would be to be on the alert for:
- Text/SMS and email messages that say you need to pay some money to have the item delivered quicker or there is a release fee.
- Phone calls which say that there has been a problem with a payment.
The National Cyber Security Centre has a good section on Information for Individuals and families.
Worth a look. I follow a security Blog written by Brian Krebs. Brian’s mantra is (he’s from the USA):
“Don’t try to outsmart the crooks. Just remember this anti-fraud mantra, and maybe repeat it a few times in front of your friends and family: When in doubt, hang up, look up, and call back If you believe the call might be legitimate, look up the number of the organization supposedly calling you, and call them back.”
Brian’s advice doesn’t just apply to telephone calls, it applies to anything – imaging you are a tourist in a new town – you tend to be on high-alert – the same applies for on-line tourism Be alert at all times – even with websites look like a branded ‘trusted site’ – it could be counterfeit.
Another problem I see a lot is when a well-known website is visited. Suddenly out of the blue, your computer starts beeping at you and you cannot stop it making a very loud siren noise.
The screen will say that you have done various things and will probably include a number for you to call.
If you do call the number, the people will be very nice and connect to your computer to “help”.
My advice if your computer starts bleeping at you:
First of all repeat this several times – I will not call the number, I will not call the number, I will not …
Secondly, you can turn your computer off by pressing and holding the power button for 10s. This will make the noise go away and help you think more clearly.
Take a deep breath and then take action when you are ready – your computer is off, nothing is being hacked or stolen at this stage – the thieves are not inside your house, they are thousands of miles away … don’t panic.
- Call a friend
- If they know how to get your computer up and running, and you trust them, then let them do that for you. Remember that there is no need to panic.
- If you don’t have someone you can call, then think about paying some one to come and do it for you – someone who is recommended that you can trust. Again remember, there is no need to panic.
Looking forward to writing to you all again in 2022.