Friday, 16 June 2017

The Mobile Phone & Medicine

Using SMS reminders is not a new thing. But did you know that you can use SMS to remind you that you forgot your tablet? And I don't mean your iPad...a reminder to take your pills.

In fact, using mobile technology to assist us with every day living is becoming a big part of our lives.

Recently there was a fascinating (but kind of creepy) story about "smart pills" that could enable a text message reminder to be sent when you forgot your dose, thanks to an implant under your skin that could detect a certain enzyme in the drug. If this enzyme was not detected in your body, an SMS reminder would be triggered.

I cannot find any further info on this story so it may be been a pie-in-the-sky thing or a hoax...but I don't doubt the technology does exist!

Nontheless, if you prefer something less Orwellian, a couple of guys in the USA have invented Pillsy, which is a smart pill bottle that talks to your mobile phone via Bluetooth.

Pillsy can track when you take a dose, reminds you when you forget, alerts you if you take too many, plus you can monitor other family members' tablet schedule.

Pillsy is a fabulous example of how the not-so-humble mobile phone can seriously benefit our lives, plus offer a simple health tool, especially for an ageing population.


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Nasty Email Phishing Scam - Google Docs

If you get an email from a company or friend offering to share a Google Docs link with you, DON'T CLICK THE LINK.

A very effective, and I'm loathe to say, clever scam is hitting inboxes around the world.

The reason why it's so effective is, it appears to be a Google Docs.

But if you click the link in the email, you'll be taken to a fake login site which looks very real, but it has been built by scammers to trick you into giving over your logins and passwords.

If you do "log in" to this fake site, a virus then sends emails out to all of your contacts.

The scammers may send emails "from" a company or someone you know. If you do receive an email with a link, DO NOT click it. Instead, ring the company and ask if they did in fact send it...I'm guessing they will say no.

As far as we know, no emails have appeared to come from SMS Express, but no company is immune from fakers, and it's best to warn you just in case.

SMS Express never ever sends links to Google Docs.

If you have clicked such a link and feel your details may have been compromised, then change your passwords immediately, preferably from a different computer that has not been compromised, and if necessary call your IT person ASAP.

It's also a good idea to keep your anti-virus software up to date. We actually use 2 anti-virus and anti-malware programs.

You may also want to encourage staff and colleagues to never click links in emails unless you are absolutely sure it's real. 

Instead, right click to copy the link, and paste the link into a browser. 

Browsers like Chrome and Firefox offer good protection against dodgy sites. IE and Edge are okay, but we've seen a few dodgy sites that IE and Edge do not flag as potentially harmful, but the other 2 do flag them.

And don't be fooled by the green padlock or https sites that say "secure"! Anybody can get an SSL certificate and get setup in minutes!!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Telstra Desktop Messaging scam

We received an email today purporting to be from Telstra Desktop Messaging.

The email said our Desktop Messaging setup was locked temporarily and gave a link to click to enable our account.

This is a phishing scam designed to trick you into handing over personal details to crooks.

Our suspicions were flagged for 2 main reasons:

1: We don't use Telstra Desktop Messenger

2: When we looked at the link by rolling our mouse pointer over it (but not clicking the link),it shows a dodgy overseas address..certainly not Telstra!

The crooks can be very clever so it's a good reminder to never click links in emails unless you are 200% sure it's legitimate.

We've seen all sorts of phishing emails pretending to be from the ATO, ASIC, AGL, any bank, long lost relatives from an African country...

..instead of clicking email links that appear to come from a legitimate company, open your browser and go directly to their website.

Even better..call the company's customer services number and check.

..don't call any number in the email or from an SMS as scammers have setup phone numbers too!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Beware of SMS scams

SMS scams aren't as common as email scams..main reason being that scammers have to actually pay to send text messages out to their victims.

..and to add insult, the scammers sometimes use stolen PayPal details to pay for this scamming. Double scammers!

But SMS scams are very clever and it's easy to see why people fall for them.

Last week our manager received a text message purporting to be from Myer offering a $100 gift voucher. We're not on any Myer marketing lists, so our scam radar was spinning fast.

Here's the screenshot of the SMS:






You can see the link looks dodgy. It's not Myer at all..it's a scammer who created the domain Giftcardmsg .

Also the optout STOP goes to a landline number, which is another red flag. And the SMS came "from" MySMS SenderID.

If you get a similar text message and you think it may be legitimate, put on your sceptical hat for a moment, and call the company head office to ask if they have any SMS promotions on.

Or do a quick Google on the message content and see if anybody else has received an SMS that reads like yours.

A good resource to keep an eye on scams (and report them) is the ACCC's scamwatch website, which you can visit here: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news


Monday, 13 March 2017

Facebook and Google Advertising - Where you are the product!

Once upon a time, if you wanted to promote your product, you could buy ads in the newspapers, or if you had the budget, ads in TV and radio.

But Google and Facebook have seriously "disrupted" traditional advertising by providing customers with a platform that can reach their target market a lot better than traditional ads ever could.

And the target audience is you, me, and anybody else who uses Google and Facebook.

You know the old saying that if it's free, then you're the product?....this article sums it up rather well:

https://theconversation.com/how-facebook-and-google-changed-the-advertising-game-70050

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

How to Hire a GOOD SEO

Are you sick of spam emails and calls from companies flogging "SEO"?

This means "search engine optimisation"...basically getting found in Google search on the first page.

There is no dark art to doing this, and a lot of people get ripped off by dodgy SEO snake oil floggers promising the world.

So where to for help? Google of course....some fabulous tips of what to look for in an SEO company...

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Cybersecurity

Unfortunately criminals are becoming way too clever, and with social media such as Facebook and Linked In telling the world what we do, and making it easy for strangers to "befriend" us, it seems all too easy for crooks to operate and affect our lives.

We don't use Wordpress, but love reading Wordfence.com newsletter, which is at the forefront of cybersecurity.

The latest newsletter makes for sober reading when you see how easy it is for crooks to "hack" our lives.

It's a long article but I highly recommend it..there's some great tips on keeping your data safe and being a little more careful with what we do online.

The article is here