Christmas is just around the corner which means our concentration levels are lower than normal. It’s also the time of the year when holiday fraud increases. The main source of fraud is online scams via emails that attempt to fool you into believing you have a tax refund, or an unpaid invoice. These emails can also look like they are from a bank or a utility company. When you click on the link you download something nasty.
There’s another scam where you receive a phone call purporting to be from the Tax Office with threats of arrest if you don’t call the number provided. The Tax Office will never call you and leave threatening messages.
If you are online, then you need to be aware that you will be targeted. Today we celebrate – Computer Security Day – a day for keeping your online data safe and secure.
What we should try to do today
The most obvious is to ensure that your devices, network and data are all secure. Let’s try to practice these basic online safety measures:
- Use strong passwords and change them if there are not more than 8 characters long
- Look at a password manager that can keep all your passwords safe
- Enable 2 factor authentication where possible
- Ensure your workstations and network devices are updated and patched
- Ensure you have an up to date antivirus that reports to you or your IT manager
- Update all your spyware and malware protection software
- Be alert to emails that may contain viruses or scams
- Upgrade your computer to the latest available operating system
- Backup your files
History of Computer Security Day
The concept of Computer Security Day began in 1988, when computers were becoming commonplace in homes and not just used in business or government. Viruses and hacking became mainstream in the early 1980s and with the prevalence of the internet the number of threats continue to increase each year. More computers, laptops, smartphones, as the use of computing and storing more and more data and cloud applications has increased the risk to users, government and businesses. It was only evident by the end of the decade that there was a big concern, and so Computer Security Day was created for awareness in computer security.