I'm not one for pro­fan­ity... well maybe!

Adventure - - Contents - Cheers Steve Dick­in­son

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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