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Tips for cyber safety

Thursday, 12th June, 2014

Wayne Lovis has been using the City Library’s computer facilities for over a decade and he encouraged other locals to take advantage of the employees’ extensive IT knowledge. Wayne Lovis has been using the City Library’s computer facilities for over a decade and he encouraged other locals to take advantage of the employees’ extensive IT knowledge.

By Nick Gibbs

Familiarising yourself with your computer is the best way to cut the risk of falling victim to online viruses and scams, according to a local IT expert.

“If I was asked what would be one key thing people can do to help protect themselves, I would have to say get to know their computer,” said Damien Fry, owner of “Geeks R Us”.

“If anything changes in its performance or look, get it checked out and in the mean time avoid entering in any personal information on any website.” 

Mr Fry’s comments follow a considerable increase in the number of fraud offences reported in Broken Hill over the last 12 months, most relating to internet scams, according to police. 

Mr Fry agreed said there did appear to be an increasing number of clients coming to him with technical problems relating to malicious activity, online.

“Unfortunately, just like any criminal activity, there are no hard and fast rules that will get you through unscathed, but if you keep a few things in mind you might be alright because it really comes down to experience and knowing what to look for,” he said.

Being able to recognise legitimate and trustworthy websites, especially when buying something over the internet, was especially important. 

“Is the website you are making the purchase from reputable? Do you know other people who have used it? Where did you find out about the site? 

“If all these questions are backed up by information you can trust, then you might be alright.”

While these tips will generally help users avoid deceitful websites, Mr Fry said he had seen cases of seemingly innocent pages hiding online viruses.

“I have come across a lot of machines with malicious software installed which has jumped on while visiting innocent websites such as sewing or recipe sites,” he said.

“I’ve seen fake emails from banks, ebay, paypal, the ATO, Super, just to name a few. 

“No company should be asking you to confirm your details via email, and if asked to visit their site, go to the site yourself and try to avoid using the links in the email.”  

The Broken Hill City Library is planning to hold a number of sessions designed for seniors to build confidence online and find out more about using the internet safely.

A trainer from the Council of the Ageing will run the sessions that are scheduled for either Tuesday, June 24 or Thursday, June 26 at 6:30pm, depending on numbers.

Anyone who would like to attend the free session or find out more can contact the library on 8080 3460.

Mr Fry also encouraged people with IT problems to contact him regardless of how minor the enquiry.

“If it’s a quick question over the phone, they want their computer checked, or even in home tuition we encourage people to give us a call,” he said. 

“Geeks R Us” can be reached on 0429 232 732.

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