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2019 = Scam Watch

Avatar On: February, 22nd 2019 | Under: Cloud, Computer Networking, Technology & Tools


Welcome to 2019 = Scam Watch.  Scams continue to grow rapidly, and they continue to evolve to elaborate making it more and more difficult for people to recognize and avoid. The Australian government through Scamwatch.gov.au continues to report that Scams are costing the broader community significant amounts of money. Not only consumers but business as well with Small to Medium businesses being a very specific target.

Not all scams are related to the internet but the radar watch on scams reports that YTD October 2018, there was 15,195 reported incidents of which 9% involved a financial loss and $4.966 million had been lost. The key methods for delivering a scam are phone, email, text messaging, the internet and mobile applications.

As the variety of scams continues to grow, and the best form of defense is education and ensuring your IT systems are up to date with virus protection, that your data is backed up and that you are effectively managing access to your systems and email.

The criminals have continued to become more sophisticated with their ability to make an email to appear it is from a legitimate company. This hack involves a company receiving an email re the payee’s bank details have changed and that their invoices for services/goods should be paid to this new account.

In January there is an expectation that more scams involving online shopping, donations to fake charities and investment scams will have been reported over the Xmas period.

Understanding the Scams

Hacking is when the scammer gains access to your personal/business information by using technology to break into your computer, mobile device or network.

Some examples are to trick the user into installing some malware (software application) onto your computer and then that software works in the background to collect personal information such as banking records, passwords, credit card numbers etc.

Once they have this information, they use it to commit fraudulent activities such as identity theft or credit card theft or even directly transfer money to their accounts from your account.

Identity theft is where a person uses someone else’s identity to steal money or gain other benefits.  A common method is Phishing, which is where you are contacted either by Phone, email, text, social media and then without suspecting anything you provide personal details.

This method equally applies to businesses but is referred to as Whaling or spear phishing. The scammer targets the business to gain confidential information for fraudulent purposes. Usually done by email that is sent to either a group of employees or a specific senior executive. The design of the email looks like it has been sent from a trustworthy source, with a subject that captures the eye as it is a critical business issue that the requires the recipient to act by going to a fake website and prompting them to enter key confidential information.

 What are some of the scams?

The following list is not exhaustive, but they give you an idea of where you might encounter a scam.

Holiday accommodation scam: this is where scammers are asking for a payment for something that does not exist. Means fake online websites, fake vouchers unusual practices like paying everything in total (especially bigger trips) with no deposit.

Flight booking scams: same approach using online techniques through fake websites you pay to turn up at the airport and you do not have an authentic flight ticket

Online shopping scams: the scammer tricks through fake classified ads, auction listings, and bogus websites. You purchase but never receive the goods and the website is often only there for a very short period.

Celebrity endorsement scams: these types of scams involve a loss of between $100 and $500. This scam involves signing up for a free trial and providing credit card details from fake websites where they use celebrities to endorse the product without the celebrity’s knowledge.

False Billing: They request you or your business to pay fake invoices for the directory listing, advertising, domain name renewals, or office supplies that you did not order. This type of scam has grown by 33% in 2018. It is a sophisticated scam created through email compromise (BEC, Business Email Compromise). Losses of up to $2.8 million have been reported in 2018.

What are the key things you should do to protect yourself or business?

The following items are not listed in any order, but you should at least implement these items to mitigate the risk.

  1. DO an annual Security IT assessment and act on the recommendations.
  2. Do ensure your Antivirus software is up to date and is maintained weekly. Ensure you have a weekly maintenance schedule where this is checked and updated
  3. Do have a person responsible for maintaining and regulating your user profiles for your computers and email services.
  4. Have IT security as a regular point of discussion at your team meetings Share stories and examples so your team becomes more educated at identifying possible threats.
  5. Ensure you have a backup and that it is checked regularly that it worked at the last scheduled backup time.
  6. Install a password manager for all staff

How can Computer Troubleshooters help you?

As a small business, you probably won’t have the time or the resource to undertake all the above, which is why are joining forces with Crest Australia to conduct IT security assessments that have been backed by the Australian Government with rebates on the fees. Learn more on this Federal government program.

Our Protection Plan service is directly aimed at small to medium businesses which is aimed at allowing you to focus on your business while we focus on your IT security giving you the confidence and peace of mind on this business issue.

Call 1300 28 28 78 for your nearest local Computer Troubleshooter

How to protect your family from cyber threats?

Avatar On: January, 5th 2017 | Under: Technology & Tools


Do you have young children who risk being exposed to pornographic or inappropriate websites?
Do you feel you should control the type of applications your children use and the amount of time they spend on the internet on websites such as social media?
Are you worried your children are using gaming, gambling, or in-app purchasing applications?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you are part of a growing movement of concerned family’s’ who are struggling to control their childrens’ exposure to the internet.

Why is access to internet content so hard to control?

There are 3 main reasons why internet consumption by children is hard to control:

  1. Multiple Access – The internet can now be accessed in a variety of different ways. Traditionally the home network was the only access method for most families. Now we have access by mobile data access via 3G & 4G networks, plus the increased availability of free Wi-Fi public access networks, then the additional opportunity of roaming as guests on other private Wi-Fi Networks. Internet access is now available everywhere so managing access through gatekeeping devices such as routers is increasingly ineffective.
  2. Multiple Devices – With internet access everywhere comes the proliferation of multi device access with many children now using a range of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and workstations. Internet access is now available almost anywhere on any device, so managing access of devices is increasingly difficult.
  3. Knowledge – Our children are developing skills and shared methodologies that can circumvent traditional control network mechanisms (such as routers) and device profile user management (such as Windows Parental Control).

With anywhere anytime internet access from multiple devices, is it still possible to regulate internet access to our children?

Thankfully development of cloud technologies has enabled user management to be lifted above the physical network layer and enables user profile management to be delivered across multiple access networks and devices. Effectively the cloud allows an additional layer of control above the traditional approach to user management and content control.

Here is what a cloud based portal can enable:

  1. Block porn and adult content
  2. Restrict access to social media
  3. Restrict access to YouTube and gaming content
  4. Limit access to mobile games and apps
  5. Limit app downloads and in-app purchases
  6. Disable device features including cameras
  7. Set restricted access periods and sleep times across devices
  8. Cover devices in and out of home.
  9. Managed from a single cloud based portal

Given all this is possible, how it is achievable?

As a business who has been help protect Australian families for over 20 years we have watched the evolution of different internet security software and hardware struggle to keep up with these changes. In our view, if families wish to take control of how internet is consumed they must consider using a cloud based portal to provide comprehensive protection.

To the best of our knowledge the most comprehensive and accessible product for family internet management is called Family Zone. Family Zone is a new generation cloud based product that allows for all these changes in technology from anywhere access from multiple devices.

Family Zone

Family Zone brings together the best Cyber Experts, organisations and technologies into one easy-to-use system. They developed it, tested it and now we want to share it so that everyone can enjoy the same peace of mind that their customers do. Family Zone was built on the belief that only through working together, as a community, can we build a cyber safe generation of kids.

What is unique about Family Zone?

  • Cloud based user & content management portal
  • Specific age profile restriction based management
  • Multi Network management
  • Remote device management (through VPN and MDM)
  • Individually configurable to each family member

If you are looking for the most comprehensive family content management system to protect your family we recommend you investigate Family Zone further.

2 months Free Trial Offer

We’ve have recently partnered with Family Zone to provide a full a cyber safety solution to keep the whole family safe while online; both at home and when they are out and about on their phones. While the service can be configured by parents, Computer Troubleshooters can help set up Family Zone at your house so that you’re confident when the kids are online their cyber safety is sorted.

Computer Troubleshooters on behalf of our clients have negotiated a 2 month free trial of Family Zone, plus we can offer a fixed installation of $139 should you require our help.

To find out more go to  https://www.computertroubleshooters.com.au/family-zone/

Give your local Computer Troubleshooters office a call and will be happy to discuss your particular situation and see if Family Zone is the right solution for you.

What is your computer doing during YOUR vacation?

Avatar On: May, 22nd 2014 | Under: Data Recovery, How To: Technology 101, Technology & Tools


Your computer provides you with a lot of assistance in planning vacations and other trips throughout the year. Remember the hours you spent on various websites looking for the perfect vacation destination? How about all of the online comparison shopping you did to find the ideal Hawaiian resort? Remember that awesome discount deal you scored on those air tickets? How could you have planned your summer trip without your computer?

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7 Reasons Your Small Business Must Have a Back Up Solution!

Avatar On: May, 16th 2014 | Under: Data Recovery, How To: Technology 101, Technology & Tools


It is 2014, and we all know that every business should have a backup (and a recovery plan) for their most critical data.  The reality is that over 40% of Small and Medium Sized Business do not back up their data at all, and that 60% of backups fail when tested!

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What is Business Technology Support?

Avatar On: April, 30th 2014 | Under: How To: Technology 101, Industry News: This Week in IT, Managed Services, Technology & Tools


Business technology support can generally be described as a range of services that deliver assistance to users of technology products such as computers, software and mobile devices within an office setting.

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Your guide to understand the Heartbleed Bug

Avatar On: April, 10th 2014 | Under: Computer Repair, Global Newsletter, Industry News: This Week in IT, Technology & Tools


Monday a massive vulnerability was found in OpenSSL, the open-source software package broadly used to encrypt Web communications. They named this vulnerability the Heartbleed Bug. Many are confused about what this bug is, if they are impacted, and how they can protect themselves. This post will help educate you about the Heartbleed Bug and how you can protect yourself online.

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How Outsourced IT Support can Enhance Your Business

Avatar On: March, 25th 2014 | Under: How To: Technology 101, Managed Services, Technology & Tools


Do you have an IT professional handling the technology in your business, or are you thinking about moving into an outsourced IT services model as so many small businesses owners are?  According to a survey completed by CompTIA 62% of the organizations surveyed planned to make greater investments in Outsourced IT Services (managed services) over the next two years.

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Is Your IT Professional Also a Trusted Business Advisor? They Should Be!

Avatar On: March, 17th 2014 | Under: Computer Networking, Global Newsletter, Industry News: This Week in IT, Managed Services, Technology & Tools


As a business owner, one of the best moves you can make is to outsource your IT services to a professional provider. When it comes to outsourcing your IT service needs, there are a wide range of service options that involve varying levels of management responsibilities and costs. An IT professional can provide service for a single specific task such as help desk support or managing network security.

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Keep Your Business Data Safe on Mobile Devices

Avatar On: March, 5th 2014 | Under: Computer Networking, Managed Services, Technology & Tools


According to CompTIA’s Second Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility study for 2013, 64 percent of businesses support a BYOD policy. The trend continues as employees demand to use their personal mobile devices for their job. Businesses take on a higher risk of data exposure to malware and theft in a BYOD environment. Knowing how to protect your company data on these devices reduces the risk of a costly event that compromises your data, and damages your business.

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Things to look for when finding Small Business IT Support Provider

Avatar On: February, 21st 2014 | Under: How To: Technology 101, Managed Services, Technology & Tools


As technology expands most small business owners are unable to keep up with the ever growing and changing needs of the technology within their business.  Many are beginning to outsource their technology support needs and are looking for Small Business IT Support Provider.

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