PROTECTING YOUR COMPUTER ONLINE
BOGUS VIRUS WARNINGS:
THIS SIMULATES A VIRUS, BUT IT ISN'T ONE.
It will both confirm your anti-virus program is effective and also show you what you can expect a real warning to look like. A genuine virus alert will always be from the Anti-Virus programme you have installed, never from another, even if it claims it is from Microsoft or Windows. DO NOT be panicked into taking hasty action. If not from your normal anti-Virus programme get your installed programme to do a full virus check. If it comes up clean then ignore the the suspect message.
PROTECTING YOUR PERSONAL SECURITY ONLINE…
Emails are an area through which scammers can gain access to your computer, but a few common sense rules will minimise the risks:
1. If you receive an email that appears to come from your bank, or other financial
institution, from Yahoo, Paypal, eBay, or indeed from anyone else asking for personal details such as account numbers, passwords, login names etc DON'T DO IT! No institution will ask for this information in an email, they just won't; it is a scam. The layout may look identical to the institution's website but don't get drawn in. If you are uncertain about such an email contact the organisation from your own records, (email address, phone number or web address), never via a link or information in the email. The term covering this type of scam is “phishing”. It was reported in March 2013 that 65% of users in UK have received a phishing email and half of them thought it was genuine and became victims. So be alert to phishing emails, They are the most common type of scam mail..
2. Unsolicited emails containing nothing, (or very little), except a link. These may even appear to be from a person you know. NEVER open an attachment or click on a link in such an email.
3. Emails that say you have won a lottery, been left money by an unknown relative, been selected by a wealthy foreigner to receive a fortune on their behalf for which you will receive a generous commission or offering loans at very low rates are all scams. There can be variations on all of these. Dump it every time; you simply haven't been that lucky! All of these if genuine would contact you by regular mail… how would they know your email address?
6. It is worth remembering that there are scams similar to some of the above mentioned that are being carried out by telephone. I've had several telling me they are Microsoft and there is a fault with my computer. (If there was how did they know about it and how did they know my phone number?). Best to just hang up, but my approach is to ask them to wait while I boot up the computer and then just leave the phone off the hook and carry on with whatever I was doing before they rang. While they are waiting for me they aren't ringing anyone else! Be wary of people saying they are from charities seeking donations. They very well could be genuine, but never give money or credit card details over the phone. If you wish to donate tell then you will donate via internet or post, and do so separately.
Use a mix of upper case and lower case letters plus some numbers, or better still shifted numbers, (instead of 4 use $ for example).
PROTECTING WIRELESS CONNECTED NETWORKS
If you have two or more computers in your home and they are wireless connected then it is important they are protected from others simply tapping into your system. (Also if your computer has a WiFi connection.) Your router (modem) has a password. the default password is probably "password". (Can you believe that?), so you need to change it to something more secure. To get help doing this ring you internet provider's Help desk or get in a technical support person.
HOW TO CHECK WHETHER AN EMAIL IS GENUINE
This is usually surprisingly easy to do. Please contact me if you would like me to check out a suspect email for you. This can involve identifying the source country and city, whether it is scam mail and if so even the identity of the scammer in some cases. I can also report it to the appropriate authority world wide. On request I will show you how to do most of the above yourself if you wish.
Please note the information contained on this page is advice for you to consider. Whether you act on that advice or ignore it is your responsibility. In doing so you agree not to hold the Denmark Probus Club, its officers or the author responsible for any subsequent eventuality.