8 October, 2011
Last week we talked about Internet Banking Fraud – why and how it has originated. This week we look at how to minimise or reduce your exposure to this problem. One of the main sources of these attacks is software that downloads to your PC when you are on an unsecured Internet site. This happens without you knowing and can reside on your PC until you are doing an online purchase or Internet banking transaction whereby it sends these details to the software’s original creator. This can be pulled up in one go.
With whatever Internet browser you are using (most people are using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer – IE) there are settings to delete a heap of downloaded Internet junk each time you are finished on the Internet. In IE, go to – ‘Tools, Internet Options, Delete’ and tick all of the boxes (Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, History, Download History, Form Data, Passwords & ActiveX…) then click ‘Delete’ and also put a tick in ‘Delete browsing history on exit’ and ‘Apply’ those settings. This will keep your PC cleaner, running faster & offer heaps of extra protection from both Internet Banking Fraud and from Viruses.
Talking of viruses, the next thing is to have a good virus scanner – which the free AVG is not! We also have a severe dislike for Norton however; Kerr Solutions has relied on the Trend Micro range of products for the last 14 years. If you are running a business then a product like Trend Micro Internet Security 2012 is worth every cent of approximately $35 per PC per year. If you are a home user then you can legally run a free antivirus like Avast which we feel is the best of the free ones (remember these free antivirus products are illegal when used in a business environment).
The next source of trouble is phishing emails – just like using the best bait available to hook a big fish, phishing emails prey on your good nature or trust. They purport to be from a legitimate source such as your bank, a freight company or even the ATO and try to sucker you into responding with personal details that they can then use. Another tact is to suggest that you are the closest living relative to a deceased estate and to claim the hundreds of thousands that you are entitled to you simply need to invest a couple of thousand to ‘unlock’ the fortune?
Another recent source of scams are so called “software support companies” calling out of the blue and suggesting that they can ‘see’ that your PC has viruses and asking for your permission to log in and get rid of them. None of these companies can ‘see’ anything – they are calling with the presumption that you have a PC and that you are gullible. If you proceed they will gain access to your PC and they will be able to show you some logs that suggest further errors. They will also then have gained some more trust and will then also request your credit card details to ‘fix’ things. They are being rude by ringing you – this entitles you to be rude by hanging up.
So, change some settings in your browser, delete emails with ANY file attachment not from a trusted source, have a good virus scanner, beware of anyone asking for ANY personal details via email, limit the information that you put on social networking sites, have complex passwords for eBay, iTunes, Hotmail and the likes, hang up on phone based computer technicians that call you and keep better track of squillionaire relatives that have you as the closest of kin! Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.