Its that time of year again and I, for one LOVE IT! God I love Christmas, I don’t even get fun presents like I used to but there’s something about the build up I just love. What’s that you ask? Why is he going on about Christmas in a technical blog? Well, let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time Mr Amazon made a magical web-site where you could do aaaaall your Christmas shopping in one place. A side effect being that he made many a Santa’s elf redundant due to their jobs becoming essentially obsolete owing to the army of Christmas temps Mr Amazon employed, I digress. Mr Amazon was joined by many of his friends; Mr Argos, Mr Tesco and whole bunch of others. In recent years instead of the jangling of cash registers and the passing of cash, our money was now zooming all over cyber space, our credit cards details ready to be passed on at the click of a button.
Now, I’m struggling to come to terms with Amazon being the good guy’s here but bear with me. In the dark corners of the internet lurked the evil email scammers; Madame Malware, Professor Phisher and all their minions. Between the two of them they hatched dastardly plans against all the innocent internet users of the human race. Their aim? To take control of your computer and steal all your personal details!!
Unfortunately, while there are digital super heroes hard at work trying to protect against these villains, Captain Kaspersky, AVG Man and Master Microsoft Security essentials (god that one’s rubbish, sorry) and their teams of digital virus warriors, its this time of year when we have to be extra vigilant about what links we are clicking in our emails.
I got caught out by one the other other day. I got an email claiming to be from ebay, it was all very convincing. The email told me that someone had attempted but failed to access my account. However I needed to follow a link to reset my password. Oh no, I thought, how very inconvenient. I clicked the link, fortunately the Sophos antivirus I have installed picked up that some phishing malware was trying to infect my computer and the risk was cleaned up straight away. (In my defence it was about 9.15am and I don’t function properly at this time in the morning)
So, protect your personal details by being extra aware of whats going on in your email inbox, even if it’s 9am, this festive season. The BBC has published a story by Prof Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey called The 12 Cyber-Scams of Christsmas It’s worth a quick read and a far more eloquent attempt than my own at warning you about the 12 most common threats to your cyber security this Christmas.
From myself and the rest of the Psychology Technical Team