Byte Me Article 104 – Be wary online at Christmas time

– Be wary online at Christmas time

Christmas 2012 is approaching faster that a jet powered Santa sleigh!  Even our shop has got in on the act – with decorations and flashing USB powered Christmas trees, which one of techs loves so much!  However amongst this cheer we also see a huge increase in the number of ‘funny’ Christmas emails – many with attachments bearing very undesirable presents.

With the approach of the festive season, I need to caution people again that if an emails turns up in your Inbox with a file attachment which is not from a source that you recognise then the ‘Delete” key could save you hundreds of dollars of PC repair labour.  Will the world end if you delete an email which may have had a good but innocent joke? – No.  Will you be less enthused about Christmas if you open an attachment which causes your computer to become unusable and need costly repairs? – Absolutely.  The moral to this story is – if in doubt delete!

2012-12-08 Byte Me Article 104 - Christmas Joy

Unfortunately the foreseeable future of being connected to the Internet still bears all of the threats that we currently see (viruses, malware, etc.) plus more attempts at stealing your money or gaining access to your credit card.  I cannot stress the importance of the following precaution list – firstly for personal PC users and secondly for businesses.

For personal use –

  1. Have an up-to-date virus scanner (we recommend Avast Free Home Edition) as the minimum
  2. Have a good backup system for your important files
  3. Keep your PC patched with all of the latest Microsoft Updates
  4. Run a dedicated Malware scanner such as Malwarebytes
  5. Set you Internet Browser to delete all temp files/history/cache/cookies as soon as your Internet session is finished
  6. Don’t open email attachments from unknown sources
  7. Don’t click on any links (even the cancel/close button) on any popup windows
  8. Don’t get suckered into phishing emails asking you to re-enter details/passwords to any banking or secure sites
  9. Don’t believe ‘incredible’ promises of wealth and /or fantastic returns by investing only a ‘small’ amount to receive a ‘fortunate’
  10. Believe one thing – “if it sounds too good to be true – it most likely isn’t”

For Business use –

  1. Use a top quality paid for virus scanner (we recommend the Trend Micro range)
  2. Do the same as points 3 to 9 above
  3. Have a reputable IT company service all of your workstations at least once a year
  4. Have the same company service your server/s nearly every month
  5. Place restrictions on what your PC users can browse (lock down your Internet)
  6. Have Internet use policies in place
  7. Have the best backup system that you can afford
  8. Don’t skimp on IT – as it is the heart of your business

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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