xmas online security tips and how to stop helping thieves get your money.

As you can see in the TED talk above by Jeff Carter, whose eye scan technology is already in use at some airports around the world, internet and credit card security is sometimes out of our hands and is in the hands of large banks or that little online store selling retro clothing in a foreign country, but there is still plenty we can do at our end to help keep us safe.

Here are some security tips for online (and offline!) security:

1. if you are using your credit card online and the form requests your DOB, shop elsewhere.
2. if someone calls you claiming to be from your bank, or Telstra for example, and asks for your DOB to check the status of your account or payment, don’t give it. You can confirm by phoning them back, not on the number they give you because old discarded Telstra numbers have been known to be used (hijacked), get the number yourself and call back. Nobody gets my DOB over the phone.
3. on websites such as yahoo, google, etc., I use the same term when asked what my mothers maiden name is, which school I went to, where I was born and so on. Whatever you might think about this method it’s far better than this real and personal information being in the wrong hands. I use one term for all these questions including my imaginary dogs name.
4. if you use words found in a dictionary or words and terms that appear on the hackers favourite list of passwords you will be helping any hackers access your accounts.
5. I use a debit visa for all my online buying and payments. If it gets stolen they won’t get much and it is easy to cancel and live without for a week while a new card is issued.
6. banks in Europe have been known to reject liability for computers that are not protected with an antivirus program. Read my other post about snake oil and costly antivirus programs and download Microsoft MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) because it’s free and as affective or ineffective (with malware and adware) as the others. If you use two AV’s one will react badly with the other and leave you potentially unprotected. Banks may also have the right to refuse liability for infected machines. Remember, bank websites can detect the presence of viruses and malware.
7. if you receive an email from your bank or parcel tracking, or your ISP etc etc., in the reading pane of outlook hover your mouse over the link they want you to click, the hover will reveal the true address. If in doubt go directly to the website and bypass the email.

Xmas is a busy time for hackers and thieves. We hope you enjoy a safe and crime free xmas. Remember to call us for an annual security and general maintenance check-up and tune-up of your home or business computers and laptops.

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