How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media

A quick pointer on how to NOT give away your personal data on Social media. I’m going to focus on a specific way I mainly see on Facebook as well as other platforms but I shall primarily use Facebook as an example. And I’m not for one moment saying these pages are harvesting your data, but they are a goldmine for those who want to.

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media
How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media
First Job

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media
Marriage

The first picture is fairly self-explanatory, answer and you have just given away your age! The second one is slightly more obscure, it is fishing for your security question information. The first job is a security question on some websites. The last in blue is essentially how long you have been married.

Ok, this seems incredibly paranoid and you might be thinking who would trawl through this website and pick out this information about you? It’s not created by some kids in a basement somewhere, these and even worse quizzes can be created by big criminal networks to harvest your data!

 

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media
Last 3 digits of your phone number

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media
Favourite movie

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media
Favourite song

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media
Giving away personal information

The last one is slightly more obscure but people tend to tag their siblings in the reply, thus giving away more information about you and your family! You are being socially engineered to give your information away.

A quick note on Passwords

Passwords can be the bane of modern life and the original instructions were to never write them down. That has changed, however. It is OK to write them down as long as you don’t keep the book or paper next to the computer. Or worse still, have them on post-it notes attached to the computer. I keep mine all in a book which I update regularly when one changes. I keep the book tucked away in a draw, nowhere near a computer. For more information see Computer Passwords and being safe online.

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media – the why…

As you can see, if you are not aware, it is extremely easy to give away your personal data. I mentioned the full-on Facebook quizzes earlier- they are even worse! The full-blown quizzes manipulate you by the desire to feel included and make you feel unique or special in some way. Once you have clicked on the quiz the developer/maker of the quiz can gain access to your public profile data, friends list and email address and maybe more.

Once you have taken the quiz you are encouraged to share your result by posting it. Obviously, you’ve passed the quiz and they say something nice about you – they show you an insight into your character you find amusing or desirable. Of course, if the quiz result was something nasty about you you wouldn’t share it, so by saying something nice you are more likely to share the result on your timeline. Now your friends can see, thus advertising their quiz and enabling more personal data harvesting. So the best answer to these problems is not to take quizzes or answer questions, even if it is just to find out what your name means!

How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media – Conclusions

If you do want to find out what your name means, you can do it without taking a quiz! just use google or a search engine of your choice…

data harvesting
How to NOT give away your personal data on Social media

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Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online

Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online.

Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online – One of the pains of the modern world is passwords. They are very necessary, unfortunately! Passwords keep us safe and the more complicated the password the safer the thing it is protecting is. However, there is a huge caveat with this statement. Even the most complicated password is useless if you tell someone.

But I wouldn’t tell anyone my password, I hear you cry! Yes, in normal situations, I.e somebody stops you in the street and says ‘ give me your password’ you wouldn’t.

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However, if you go to a website and put in your password, and it’s an unfriendly website, dressed up to look like a legitimate website, a spoof website, you’ve just given your password away.

Social Engineering

If you’ve answered an email saying that you need to go to a company website to reenter your password because you’ve been locked out of your account, are you sure you really want to click on the link in the email? These ways of gaining somebodies password are known as social engineering. It’s getting you to give away your password. There is a good article on the BBC website that talks about Social engineering. These are the most common ways. Another way to gain a password is through a keystroke logger. It’s a little program or virus that makes a note of all your presses on the keyboard and sends it to the enemy or ‘hacker’.

Rarely, it is the classic Hollywood image of the person hunched over a keyboard running a program that tries lots of different combinations to gain access to something.

A selection of ‘Traditional Hacker’ Photos – taken from Google Images

Another trick is to use social media posts and quizzes. It’s a big subject so it has its own post. See How to NOT give away your personal data on social media.

As a little primer for this beginners guide to Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online, some common terms I have used are browser and address bar. Firstly, let me explain those.

Browser

This is what you view the ‘Internet’ on. It’s a little program that lets you see the internet. Whether it is Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox or one of the others. The logos you click on look a bit like this;

Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online
Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online

Address Bar

This is the line on top of your browser where the website address you are currently on appears. You can type in this line, click in it to get the flashing I Beam or cursor, in it. If you know the website address you are looking for you can type in this line and not have to go through a search engine to find it. See the picture below for where it is. It’s the bit that is highlighted in yellow

Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online
Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online

Also, take note of the little padlock, I’ll mention that later. Knowing these terms, if you don’t already will help you with the words below.

Ok, let’s run through how to avoid scams and help you with Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online

Spoof websites

When going to a website always check in the address bar that it is the correct website. See the image below for the address bar. If it is different from what you expect to see, don’t go there!

Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online
Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online – from google images

Here I’ve used pictures from google. The red around the address bar is showing the double ‘N’ in amazon. You wouldn’t get me to go to these websites in real life! For a full explanation see Wiki – Spoof Website. Also, check for the little padlock in the address bar, it means the website has a certain level of encryption. This and the trick below are an example of Phishing. Phishing is basically a fraudulent attempt to gain access to your data.

Spoof emails

This is different from the email approach. Never click on a link in an email. Never. Even if you think it might be genuine. If you are unsure if you have been locked out of your account, type the company web address directly in your browser.

Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online
Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online

Above, I’m using an example here from my personal email. It’s an email from, allegedly, PayPal.

Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online
Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online

If I hover (but not click) over the ‘check your account’ bit, the address it is going to go to appears in the bottom left corner

Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online
Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online

And that is definitely not a PayPal address! As I said, if you are unsure, type the Web address of the company in question into your browser and see if you have login issues. Another thing to look out for is spelling and grammar in the email. ‘Paypal ask to update your account’ is not great English!

Number Crunching

This is the more traditional Hollywood approach. However, it is rarer than the others, because it’s much easier to get someone to give you their password information in one of the above methods. For a more complete definition of hacking, see here – Hacking – Wikipedia.

 

Also, these days there are those annoying captchas. Sometimes it’s pictures and sometimes it is some letters written funny. This is to prove you are human. A computer program has difficulty identifying numbers or pictures. The Captchas may be annoying but they are a useful security feature…

captcha
captcha

 

 

A reason these exist is to stop the number-crunching brigade. It’s very difficult to program an automated system to recognise pictures. Although not impossible, it’s not readily available to most people.

Safe Passwords

The major rule is don’t use the same password for everything. Use Capital and lower case letters and numbers and special characters if you can.

Write them down

Contrary to the advice given a few years ago, the best thing is to write them down in a little book. But don’t keep the book next to your computer! And certainly don’t use post-it notes and put them all over your monitor – If you get burgled you’ll be in trouble. Resetting peoples passwords where they have been forgotten is one of the most common problems people call me about.

Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online – Summary

Mainly, it is just being wary online. Yes, write your complicated passwords down in a little book but don’t keep that next to the computer. If you get one of the emails and you’re not sure, phone the company they purport to be on the phone number on the bill to check. Also, in your pursuit of online safety, it’s worth being aware of scam calls. Read more about How to deal with scam calls here. Let’s be safe out there!

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Computer Passwords and Being Safe Online
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Virus and Malware Removal

Virus and Malware Removal in West Sussex and South Surrey

If your computer is running slow or behaving strangely, it is possible you need virus and malware removal help!

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Over the last 10 years, malware and spyware have been on the rise, the reason being that criminals make more money from these types of nasties than they do a traditional virus. Malware basically tries to sell you stuff, with lots of pop-ups appearing as you browse websites. Spyware is no less annoying and similarly can be a lot more serious. Furthermore, it is things like password loggers that try to steal your personal data. While it is less common than the papers would have you believe, it is comparatively a big concern.

Why do Viruses Exist?

One of the first PC viruses ever written for a computer just opened the CD drawer. I guess the virus was written by somebody who just wanted to see if they could do it. Likewise, one called Creeper goes all the way back to the early ’70s. However, these days viruses can be extremely damaging to your computer.

Obviously, none of these is good! If you feel you have problems with any of these, call now on 07771 588577!

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virus and malware removal.

What is a Virus?

A software virus is a parasite program written in the first place to change the way your computer operates without your permission or knowledge. A virus makes copies of itself and attaches them to other files too. When the virus is activated it may damage files, cause strange or weird system behaviour or display messages. Computer Viruses infect system files and also, documents. Some system Viruses are programmed specifically to corrupt programs, delete files, or erase your hard drive.

A virus remains inactive until you (or the computer) opens an infected program, start your computer from a disk that has infected system files or open an infected document. Viruses are spread in many ways, through emails, similarly, visiting websites or sharing infected disks.

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What is a Trojan Horse? – Virus and Malware Removal

As the name suggests, Trojan horses are programs that hide in other files that appear to serve some useful purpose, but the programs also serve another purpose, which may be to damage files or place a virus on your computer. A Trojan horse is not a virus because it does not replicate and spread like a virus. Because Trojan horses are not viruses, files that contain them cannot be repaired and are deleted instead.

Virus and Malware Removal
Virus and Malware Removal

PC Virus Removal – How do I remove a virus on my computer?

Whether it is virus removal, spyware removal or malware removal, what we use is a many-pronged approach to removing viruses and spyware from your computer. We use multiple programs to perform multiple scans to get rid of any computer infections you have. Scanning your computer with many different malware removal and virus removal programs ensures we remove all the viruses, not just the easy to find ones. We will also advise on new antivirus and malware removal programs for your computer.

What do I do if I think I have a Virus?

If you have virus removal software, of course, scan your computer with that and proceed with the Virus and Malware Removal.

If you do not want to or the virus cannot be removed call now on 07771 588 577.

HOWEVER DO NOT SEND AN EMAIL TO ANYONE, THIS IS HOW VIRUSES CAN SPREAD!

We can advise you on a range of virus and firewall protection currently available in the market and also come to your home or business premises to install and set up the software for you. Contact us today for virus removal in West Sussex and South Surrey.

Spyware / Malware

Pop-ups on the internet?
Internet running slow?
You may have spyware!

Spyware or adware are files and programs that come from websites or downloads and contain advertising pop-ups and other identically nasty things.

These can affect the speed of your internet connection or may stop your internet connection altogether!

At RHCC we have the technology to cure the problem.

Using specialist software coupled with Virus and Malware Removal scanners, we can get your computer running at its optimum.

Virus and Malware Removal
Virus and Malware Removal near you

Think you have a problem? Call us now for Virus & Malware Removal on 07771 588 577.

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November 1, 2021
    

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Just to say many thanks for your help today.

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