Scammers are thrivingJILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN
It's Cyber Security Awareness Week so make sure you keep yourself well informed and well protected.
Cyber crime is a real and growing problem, and while most of us like to think we are pretty sharp and unlikely to be a victim, the crims must still be tripping up plenty of unwary computer-users because they are still making money.
What might be an obvious scam to you might not be quite so obvious to your more trusting or less web-experienced friends or family. I've had so many calls from the "your computer is broken, give us your credit card details and remote access to fix it/rob you blind'' phone calls that I have lost count and I know most people with a landline have also had at least one call so I was surprised to stumble across a couple of people in the past fortnight who weren't aware of this scam.
There are plenty of other ways the bottom-feeders can raid your credit card and steal your identity and while it can seem a little overwhelming, the advice offered by the Security Central (securitycentral.org.nz) is simple and worth following.
If you do nothing else, follow these four steps:
Turn on auto updates
If your operating system needs to add a patch, let it. If your browser needs updating, let it happen. By auto-updating, you get the latest versions of your software with the latest security patches.
Secure your wireless
Give it a name, a strong password and hide it from any random freeloaders in your neighbourhood.
Back up your files
Computers fail, so make like a good Boy Scout and be prepared.
Use strong passwords
Password is not a suitable password. And don't use the same old password for everything because if some nasty critter works out the password for your Facebook account, they have also worked out the password for everything else.
And my own little piece of advice is to be paranoid because they really are out to get you. And your credit card details.
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