15 December 2011
It is SCAM season again – be careful
We are seeing higher volumes of scams leaving customers caught with fraudulent credit card transactions and computers being compromised. One of the recent cases has been callers posing as Microsoft staff and advising you have a problem with your computer that needs resolving. They take your credit card details and also install software on your computer which they could later use to take your data.
I have listed some tips below to stay free of these scams:
- It is very unlikely any software or hardware vendor will call our customers directly and they will not be asking for credit card details
- No one is going to give you money for free, so please ignore any emails or calls of this nature
- Renewal notices generally come from TechPath, but occasionally you may receive them directly. Please feel free to ask us or forward over these notices
- If you get a pop up message on your computer to click or buy something to fix a problem; it is most likely a scam
- Purchase online from reputable sites and use services like PayPal for additional purchasing security
- Domain name renewals should cost under $100. Many companies around are trying to take over the renewal process and charge fees in excess of $200
- Keep your virus and spyware protection up to date
- Use HTTPS when logging into sites that require a password where possible, i.e. when accessing facebook from an internet café or hotel could leave you completely vulnerable on a non-secured address http://www.facebook.com. Instead use https://www.facebook.com
- Try to avoid using one password for all services. If this password is found out, a hacker will have access to all of your accounts
- Passwords saved in your web browser are generally not secure
- Use a product like KeePass www.keepass.com to securely store usernames and passwords. KeePass is free and can be accessed on your Smart Phone and computer.