Following on from last weeks’ article about Internet security, this week we look at both what you can do to stay safe and what we can do to help keep you safe. I say this with the emphasis on the end user as taken to the nth degree – if you were to not use the Internet at all – you would be kept pretty safe. We will also look at differences between home users and businesses and what both should be doing.
Most of the successful scams occur by ‘worrying’ the end user into signing up to a useless service or giving out their credit card details. These scams are mostly over the phone or via email. They can be a guy working in a hacking house in Manilla who is just down the road from their cousin working in a Telstra call centre. The Telstra employee gets valid customer details and hands this on to his cousin or best friend (for a price) working for the hackers. They call you pretending to be Telstra and can often talk you into handing over credit card details.
So what can be done with the above? Go to a different service provider or help lobby our government to get our call centres back onto Australian shores. Alternatively, insist on calling Telstra back. Other very successful scans via email suggest that some subscription or service is running out and ask you to log in to renew it or verify your details. These emails can have logos and formatting that look very authentic, however hovering your mouse over the provided links will usually reveal a non-genuine forwarding address.
Less popular email scams – when your email password has been compromised can appear to be an invoice from your normal supplier with the BSB and Account details changed. You can also get an email from a boss or company CEO asking you to make an urgent payment to a new supplier. In all cases a phone call to the supplier or CEO is worth the time.
There are also emails from friends with file attachments and links. If you are not expecting these then call the friend and ask if they sent it. This year we have substantially ramped up our security recommendations and our list of security services. We are no longer suggesting the free Avast Home Edition for any home users. Instead we are recommending the base edition of Trend Micro Internet Security at $65 for 3 devices for 12 months.
For concerned home users, small businesses and corporate we are recommending the corporate version of Trend Worry Free Business Services, which at $10 per month offers the best PC anti-virus we can find plus the ability to run the same on 2 portable devices. This software will notify the end user and us if something bad is found, plus we can find your portable device to within 6 meters of its location if it is lost. We can also remote lock or remote wipe the device if it has fallen into the wrong hands.
We are also converting all our business customers across from @bigpond.com or @optus.net.au email addresses to a proper domain name and Microsoft Office 365 Business subscription. To this we add two factor authentication 2FA to protect you from password breaches and a dedicated email filter that can totally block junk emails, spam & phishing emails from reaching your inbox.
Next week we will highlight more of the latest security services that we use to fight cybercrime so until then enjoy the widespread breaking of one of Australia’s worst droughts.
Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 07 49 222 400.
We have developed a brilliant self-help troubleshooting section on our website – so if you are having computer problems, but can still browse the web, please check it out. Click here to go to Kerr Solutions IT Troubleshooting
For more advice and assistance from Kerr Solutions, like and follow us on Facebook