Stay Safe Online in 2016

Cybercrime (or computer crime) is a fast-growing area of crime. More and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities causing serious harm and posing very real threats to victims worldwide.

Malware is a term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other serious malicious programs. It can install software onto your computer that extracts information that can be used in scams – like genuine sounding telephone calls – using information they got from your computer (or online).

If anyone rings you and tells you there is something wrong with your computer, it’s most likely a scam, no-one can access your computer without your permission – it’s illegal – if you are worried ring us, advice is free.

The most common scams are phishing scams in an email posing as a government official with a fake link that loads a virus onto your computer.  Official sources like the tax office or your bank – will never ask you to disclose personal information like passwords or pin numbers by email or phone.  Scam emails include telling you about a tax refund, a court case, a prize you have won.  Don’t open the email or click on any links or attachments.  Even if it’s someone you know it could still be a virus, you can read the email without opening it.

Windows XP is out of date and the firewalls no longer offer any protection online leaving computers wide open to viruses.  We had a serious problem recently with a client who turned his computer on one morning and all his data had disappeared – which necessitated specialist data recovery.  If you’re still running a computer on Windows XP you need to upgrade it – the earliest protected edition is Windows Vista.

Windows 10  There have been a few issues with Windows 10 recently.  People have updated to Windows 10 and subsequently found that it causes lots of problems because it’s not compatible with older software that has no recent updates – like printer software.

Beware of look-alike websites that seem like a quick and easy way to register for things but charge a fee when the services they purport to be offering are actually free.  Examples we’ve heard about recently are the Blue Badge disability scheme (which is a scam – obtaining a genuine blue badge is a lengthy process), the telephone preference service and the mailing preference service

www.tpsonline.org.uk  is the correct website to register to reduce unsolicited phone calls

and www.mpsonline.org.uk is the correct website to register to stop unwanted post .

You can find out more information on current scams and things to watch out for at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk

You can report scam phone calls and emails by emailing: [email protected].

You can also check out our website for the latest scams to watch out for with our blog / facebook page – and lots of useful free advice so you can keep to up to date:

www.rainford-it.co.uk

01948 840102