I'm not one for profanity... well maybe!
I am not one for profanity, but recently I went to pay for something on-line and it came back with ‘insufficient funds’. I knew straight away something was not right. When I opened my PayPal account and saw that on Friday at 1pm I had $2509.00 and then 2 hours later I only had $9.00, the expletives flew fast and furious. “MotherF*$kers!!!” I rang the PayPal fraud department and they were great and said it would take about 3 weeks to sort out, he then went on to tell me we had ‘got off light’. In fact he said ’very light’. I then rang Amex and cancelled that connection but in the time that it took me to make two phones calls another $40.00 was extracted, someone had just ordered Chinese takeaways to be delivered to a home address in Canada. Now you start to wonder about someone who is smart enough to steal your credit card details but then then so dumb as to offer up their operating address for the delivery of fast food – it’s a bit of give away as to where you work from.
So it should get sorted out; however it brought into clarity one of the features in this issue; the advantages and pitfalls of shopping online and its growth, and running parallel with that growth is the corruption that runs with it. In our reader survey is seems credit card theft was the number one concern when shopping online. But the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages as long as it is kept within a national location. You can read all about it in the urban section of this issue. And make sure you put into place all the specific advice that’s put there, none of it has a cost and if implemented the chances of getting robbed are pretty slim. However saying that, I take every precaution, from virus ware and malware scanning to changing passwords monthly but somehow someone got both my password and email and cleaned out an account and I have no idea how.
We live in a digital world and we need to take precautions; in the same way you would not ride in a car without a seatbelt on or ski without a helmet or kayak without a life jacket (that does not mean accidents won’t happen) but it means you are a safe as you can be given the environment you are in. What separates us in a digital world from our normal dangerous environments where we have learnt to take care of ourselves, is the ever evolving playing field of the internet, web, and social media; as one virus is cured a new one is developed, as you shut one door another opens, ransom ware, personal hacks, phone hacks, bank hacks, credit fraud, identity theft, code cracking algorithms, bogus emails, bogus calls, bogus texts the list is not only extensive but it is ever increasing. As with all changing dangerous environments rather than walk away or refuse to take part (which is pretty near impossible) we need to get all the current and correct information that we can in these shifting sands of the internet world and not only survive but be ready to make the very best out of it.
As I discussed with the fraud guy from PayPal and I asserted that I had all the malware, virus checker, changed my password, never gave my password out to anyone he asked me one question that silenced me; “and is your mobile phone connected to the internet? Do you get emails on it? Does it have the same level of security?” Ooops!
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