Major telephone scams include calls from Microsoft Technical Support or BT or your bank or a stranded travellor - please take down any details from the call you can, do not give out any person information, then contact the company direct using a published telephone number on an official website.
Major email scams include emails from Skype (you have a voicemail waiting), your bank / Paypal / credit card provider (your account has been restricted, you need to verify some details), Royal Mail or another parcel courier (we have a parcel for you). Again do not click on any links in these emails nor provide any personal details by response. If you think it may be legitimate, contact the company direct using a published telephone number / email address on an official website.
If you are not sure as to the validity of an email / telephone call, and do not wish to use the internet to check, contact us with the details you have (email addresses, company name, telephone number, details of query), and we can check if it matches any of the known scams.
- List of various hoaxes and email scams - HoaxSlayer
- What to do if you think you may be a victim of a scam - UK Police
- Spam and scam email and other adive on how to stay safe online - Get Safe Online
- Advice from Microsoft
- A list of 10 common scams from About.org
New viruses are being created every minute in an attempt to gain access to your computer. It is essential you have an active anti-virus program running ALL the time, such as Norton, Symantec, McAfee, which you pay for, or AVG or Avast which are free. We currently use Avast at Approachable Technology. If you install the free version of Avast or AVG, be careful as you click through the installation process, they will try and get you to try or buy the paid for version.
However a virus checker is not totally sufficient. New viruses are being created all the time and are therefore not always known about by the anti-virus companies until some time later. Additional free programs can be installed, such as Malware Bytes and Super Anti Spyware. Both of these additional programs, do not run automatically, so we suggest once a month you ensure they are up to date (with the latest virus definitions) and you run a full system scan. As with the free anti-virus programs, they will try to get you to try or buy their paid for version, so be careful during the installation process. Having said that, the paid for versions are not that expensive so if you feel you are getting a good deal, then feel free to pay for it!
Backing up your data is as important as the data you wish to backup. You do not know when your computer hard-disk may fail, you may get burgled, you may just drop coffee on your laptop.