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O N L IN E

secu rity

A D V IC E O N SA FE S U R F IN G J u s t h o w s e c u re is th e in fo rm a tio n o n y o u r c o m p u te r? T o m T ro s b o r g o f O d in IT o ffe rs e x p e rt a d v ic e o n s ta y in g s a fe o n lin e

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xactly aswewouldn’ tbehappy to find ourposthad been steam ed open priorto delivery,wealso expect privacy forourpersonalem ails.R ecently,the G overnm entaired plansto extend itsrightsto m onitor ourem ails,telephonecallsand socialm edia,and although itseem slikely thattheseproposalswillbewatered down aftertheensuing outcry,thedebatehasraised im portantquestions aboutthelevelofprivacy wecan expectforouronlineactivity. “Security issuesaffecting ourpersonalcom puterusehave changed substantially overthepastfew years,” saysTom Trosborg,who founded O din IT in Bath 25 yearsago thism onth. “N o onelikestheidea oftheG overnm entspying on ourpersonal em ailsand F acebook updates,butifyou areconcerned aboutthe security ofyourinform ation,then G C H Q isprobably theleastof yourworries.” C omputervirusescan havedevastating effectson your operating system.“Therearemany potentially harmfultrojans, virusesand malwarein circulation,and somecom edisguised asa plausible-sounding solution to help you curea virus,leading unsuspecting peopleto infecttheircom puterthem selves,” says Tom . “It’ sourjob to keep up-to-datewith new viruses,but prevention isalwaysbetterthan cure,so weensureourclients havetherightanti-virusand anti-spywaresoftwareinstalled to help avoid theseproblem soccurring.W ealso offeran annual M O T ascom putertechnology and virusesareconstantlyevolving and it’ sim portantto stay protected.” Somevirusescrippleyourcomputer’ soperating system,so you can’ trun any programs,send emailsoraccessimportant inform ation,which can bevery costly to putright. “Virusescan bedownloaded via attachm entsorby clicking infected linkson websitesoremails,so werecom mend you don’ t open any em ailsorattachm entsfrom unknown sendersand be verycarefulaboutthewebsitesyou visit,” saysTom . F raudsterscan also usespywareinstalled on yourcom putervia a virusto gain accessto yourpasswordsand m ay hack into your onlinebanking,socialmedia orem ailaccountsto stealyour identity oryourm oney.“It’ sim portantto usestrong passwords thatcan’ tbeeasily guessed ( notyourcat’ sname!)and change them regularly.Themoreinformation you giveaway about yourselfonline,them oreexposed you areto security risks,so avoid signing up to lotsofm ailing lists.Ensureyourhom ewifi network ispassword protected,and forlaptop users,it’ sa good idea notto do youronlinebanking in publicplacesusing an unprotected wifinetwork,which may leaveyou vulnerableto hackers.” O fcourse,being activeonlinehasfarm orerewardsthan risks, 6 6 T H E B A T H M A G A Z IN E

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M A Y 2012

and you justneed to takesensibleprecautions. “M any ofourclientshavehad wholenew worldsopened up to them by learning how to useonlineservices,” saysTom .“W e’ ve helped clientstalk to theirgrandchildren in A ustralia using Skype; whileothershavetracked down old schoolfriendsand researched theirfam ily treesonline.Peoplecan easily m anagetheirphotos, do theirbanking and shop foreverything from groceriesto theatreticketsattheclick ofa m ousein thecom fortoftheirliving room .” So isthereanything elsewecan do to keep ourinform ation safe? “W hen onlineshopping,alwaysbuy from reputable websitesand check forthepadlock symbolon thebottom rightof thescreen to show it’ sa securesitethatwillhelp keep yourcard detailssafe,” saysTom .“A lso,back up allyourimportant inform ation and photosonto an externalhard drive,so ifthe worsthappens,you’ vegotcopiesofeverything.”

W e ’v e h e lp e d c lie n ts ta lk to th e ir g ra n d c h ild re n in A u s tra lia u s in g S k y p e ; w h ile o th e rs h a v e tra c k e d d o w n o ld s c h o o l fr ie n d s F inally,Tom saysit’ sim portantto alwaysbeon yourguard – therearesom every authentic-looking em ailspurporting to be from banks,thetax officeand even from M icrosoftdoing the rounds,so alwayscheck with theorganisation to ensureit’ s genuinebeforeresponding. Ifyou geta phonecallfrom an unknown com pany telling you there’ sa problem with yourcom puter,even ifthey say they are from M icrosoft,hang up imm ediately asit’ svery likely to bea scam.A nd neverrevealyouraccountdetailsorpasswordsin responseto an em ailorunsolicited phonecall– a reputable com pany would neverask forthisinform ation anyway. “W e’ vebeen supporting peopleand businessesin theBath area for25 years,” saysTom ,“and although we’ veseen security issues becom emorecomplex,it’ sourjob to help peoplegetonlineand enjoy allthefun and convenienceoftheinternetwithoutthe worries.” O D IN IT isTrading Standards A pproved and CR B checked, which m eansyou can beconfidentabout booking a hom evisit.Clientsrange from studentsand fam iliesto O A PS, aswellasa num beroflocal businesses.O din IT offers: • F reetelephoneadvice– on any issue, no m atterhow trivialitm ay seem • Virusprevention and rem ovals • Com puterrepairsand data recovery

SO UN D A D VICE: Tom Trosborg, who hasbeen helping peoplein theB ath area with theirIT issuesfor25 years PO R T R A IT: M arko www. studiom arko.co.uk

• Safecom puterdisposal • Independentadviceon softwareand products, including shop visits • N o fix – no feepolicy • H om eand officesupport, including training in yourown hom e • Supportforinternettelephony – VO IP ( VoiceO verInternet Protocol) F orfreeinitialadvice, contactTom at O din IT on tel: 01225 8084 7 5 or visit: www.odinit.co.uk


Odin IT in Bath Magazine, May 2012  

Odin IT, who have been in Bath 25 years this month, is featured in The Bath Magazine, taling about Internet security.

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