Beware of scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications companies 24 April 2018 The ACCC is warning consumers to beware of scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications providers and demanding payments.
Scamwatch has received 5000 reports of fake billing scams in the last 12 months, with reported losses of close to $8000.
“The scammers typically impersonate well known companies such as Origin, AGL, Telstra and Optus via email, to fool people into assuming the bills are real,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“They send bulk emails or letters which include a logo and design features closely copied from the genuine provider. The bill states the account is overdue and if not paid immediately the customer will incur late charges or be disconnected.”
Top tip: Don’t bother with Facebook’s two-factor SMS auth – unless you love phone spam Pick another 2FA method: Social network is having a What The Zuck moment By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco.
Forget fake news, Russian trolls and the gradual cruel destruction of journalism – now Facebook is taking heat for spamming a netizen’s phone with text messages after he signed up for SMS-based two-factor authentication.
Software engineer Gabriel Lewis said this week that after he activated the security measure with his cellphone number, he began to receive not just one-time login tokens as expected, but texts from Facebook with links to stuff happening on the social network.
How do you replace all your old physical media — your music, newspapers and magazines, books and comics, movies and TV shows, with shiny, new, space-saving bits? More easily than you might think!
In the case of using online sources such as iTunes, Google Play and Netflix, a good internet connection is essential.
For me, this is often not an option. If I am in a remote area, or a country or location with bad or no internet, streaming services are useless.
I have made more of an effort to save or convert much of the digital. Heritage I have collected, including ripping my music CDs and Video DVDs. The problem with my approach is that I meed to keep the physical disks as a defence against accusations that I have pirated the music and movies, so storage is required.
I have spent the morning cleaning out some old hardware. A pair of desktop computers that have not been started up for four years or more.
I do not consider myself a hoarder, but letting go of old computer equipment is always hard.
Computers and technology tend to be big purchases. We invest in them.
In this case the machines were ones that I had built, rebuilt and upgraded by hand. I had used them as workstations, sitting for hours, days, weeks, months while they had whirred tirelessly away under the desk.
I wrote software and articles. Thousands of pieces of e-mail flowed across the screens. hours of music had played through the speakers.
Operating systems and software had been upgraded, replaced and, at times re-installed or wound back. Disk repair, defrag and backup software had kept them running many nights.
In each case they had become too slow for the latest software. They had been relegated to workgroup servers (an undemanding job in a small workgroup) and eventually were shelved as “backups” for newer machines.
Today their performance and capacity seems ludicrous, but each machine was a big investment, carefully chosen, and lovingly used.
I name my computers.
Over the years I have named computers after moons, characters from books and movies. Currently I am naming them after spacecraft and mars rovers. I am typing this on a Chromebox named Firefly, while my Chromebook, Viking recharges beside me.
These two were named Banichi and Jago. I will leave it for the sci-fi fans to figure out who they were named after.
Today they were carted into the back yard, minus disk drives, that will be destroyed, and added to a pile to go to the recycling depot as e-waste. Finding a home for them, minus keyboards and monitors is impractical.
I will not miss them, but I will remember them as old friends now departed.
CONOR DOUGHERTY was obviously fishing for a quote on “phone intrusion“, and turned a real opportunity into an embarrassing attempted ambush. Sundar was too polite to tell him to move on, but I think from the editing of the interview and comments, that readers can see the trend in the questions.
His proposition is completely wrong. Everyone has control of their own phone. The apps used, and the way of using them is at the discretion of the user. We each can choose to mute alerts, close apps, or mute the phone completely.
If there is any case for intrusion, I think it is management expecting employees to stay connected to their jobs 24 x 7, via e-mail, text and phone simply because the technology is available. An example is Microsoft’s pitch for Office 365. It lets you keep working on vacation, at the kid’s recital, or over dinner.
The individual must make their own decision as to how they will respond for the welfare of themselves and their families.
The belief that we can “multi-task” if we are smart or young enough is completely incorrect. The mind focuses well only on one thing at a time. Creative people are familiar with the concept of “flow” or being “in the zone”. This is that wonderful place we go when the right side of the brain takes over what we are doing, and we become productive. Really productive. We also lose all track of time, and, often, our ability to speak is impaired.
A smartphone is a powerful tool, and it can help us in many situations from navigating to an unfamiliar destination to providing weather, flight, and accommodation information. But if we allow to to distract us constantly with Twitter, e-mail, Facebook and Instagram notifications, we are becoming slaves to a device designed to help us.
If we do not control our phone It becomes our master, not our slave.
Identity theft is having someone steal enough personal information from you that they can impersonate you well enough to obtain a credit card, bank account, apply for a loan, register a car, get a drivers licence or apply for a passport or mobile phone account in your name.
The danger is, all of these things can result in you being liable for unpaid debt, crimes or other fallout from someone posing as you behaving badly or illegally.
A lot of identity theft is performed on-line, but in this article, I want to discuss the more personal and local version. Your garbage bin.
Much of this information can be gleaned from papers you throw in the garbage. We all get mail every day with personal information. From bank statements and Centrelink documents to invitations to get new credit cards or increase our credit limit. Most come with much of our personal information pre-printed. These are absolute gold to an identity thief. They raid letter boxes on a daily basis, looking for this kind of information.
When I started my last business, we advertised it locally (and laboriously) by trudging from house to house around much of Launceston area putting flyers in letterboxes. I once received an irate phone call from someone telling me we had stolen a letter from his box when we dropped off the flyer.
When I explained the the fliers were being distributed by me, my wife and my son, and leaving a flyer after robbing the box would not have been the brightest idea for us, he apologised and hung up. He had lost a piece of vital mail that day…
The Australian Federal Police have an excellent on-line resource under the title Identity Crime. It is worth a read. There are many other resources, but for Australians, this is a pretty good one.
I was prompted to visit this subject by an excellent post on Unclutterer.com about shredders. I am sitting looking at my shredder, a Fellows P-35C purchased from Officeworks.
It replaced a series of cheap shredders that failed when fed too much paper, or just burned out. I have never been one to overload my shredder, but the cheap, low powered models are prone to choking and jamming if paper is fed in off-centre.
The fact is, with care, even the cheapest shredder will do its job, but spending a bit more is well worth the cost. My current shredder will handle five sheets of paper and cuts it into confetti rather that strips. It cost around $70.
Shredders need to be maintained. I spread a little 3 in 1 oil on a sheet of paper and feed it through the shredder occasionally.
We recently had an episode here in Australia where the opposition turned up in parliament with a sensitive document that a government minister had shredded. The document was retrieved from the bin and taped back together and produced in parliament to much laughter and hoots of derision. I decided that my next shredder would be a cross-cut shredder!
For those home based, a bonus of shredding is the ability to turn shredded paper and other junk mail into Paper Log/Briquettes and use them in the fire. There are a number of tools to do this, unfortunately most of the are US based, and freight is expensive.
For those on the road, papers can be used as fire starters or soaked, screwed up into logs, dried and burned. The simple option is to simply burn any papers with personal information. A smoky option, but a simple one.
On the road, we tend to use fires or braziers, and paper to get the fire going is always in short supply, so save those personal documents and feed them to the fire
The key is, DO NOT put anything with personal information in the bin. Grey Nomads have been fined for disposing of waste in public bins based on papers found by council inspectors, and any paper can lead to identity theft. Dispose carefully!