7/8/2016 0 Comments
You have probably all heard the younger generations referred to as the 'digital natives' - and many of us assume that being a 'digital native' equates to being 'tech-savvy'.
What does it mean to be a 'digital native'?
The website techopdia.com says
A digital native is an individual who was born after the widespread adoption of digital technology. The term digital native doesn't refer to a particular generation. Instead, it is a catch-all category for children who have grown up using technology like the Internet, computers and mobile devices. This exposure to technology in the early years is believed to give digital natives a greater familiarity withand understanding of technology than people who were born before it was widespread.
Our 'digital natives' understand the jargon of this technology-driven world, and are very quick and nimble at navigating their way around their mobile devices and, often, computers. They are right into social media and get so much of their information about the world from apps like Facebook and Twitter. For many, that's about where it ends.
Even digital natives can be caught out by scammers
When it comes to staying safe online and protecting their valuable devices and data, it can be quite frightening to see how un-tech-savvy (is that a word?) our digital natives can be.
Here's a case in point: In the last week, the 23 year old 'digital native' son of a client of iTandCoffee managed to get himself scammed by (supposedly) an 'Apple Support' call centre, who told him he had a virus on his computer that they needed to remove for him.
A screen locked up the web browser and advised of a virus
It had all started when he had been on a website that popped up a window that locked up his screen, and told him he had to call a 1800 number to get support - which, unfortunately, he did.
Not only did he let the scammers onto his Mac computer and allow them to install who-knows-what software and nasties, but he also gave them credit card details to pay them to 'remove' the supposed virus.
He lost over $500 very quickly (something we found out later) and, when I arrived after a call from his concerned parents (who had just arrived home and found their son in a 'state'), he still had his computer connected to the internet and the scammers were busily running something (I dread to think what) on his computer.
First actions when scam is suspected
First actions on arrival were to shut down the computer, turn off the router, and get the parents on the phone to cancel the credit card immediately (too late to stop the debit of over $500).
Once the internet was turned off, it was possible to log into his computer and remove the software that they had installed, and stop his web browser from locking up every time he opened it. (I'll cover how to do this in a separate Handy Hint.)
Those pesky scammers are very persistent - and aggressively insistent
What amazed me then was how persistent those foreign scammers were. They called as soon as we shut the Mac down, and insisted (very loudly) that we had to turn it back on, in order that they could 'resolve' the problems on it.
I hung up and watched as they tried to call time and time again.
Once I knew that the parents had sorted out the block on the credit card, I did answer the phone and told them to stop calling. The caller was incredibly insistent about the fact that he was from legitimate support company, offering to transfer me to his supervisor who would prove that they were legitimate. I told them I knew they were scamming and to give up, then hung up again.
They just kept calling, insisting that there would be all sorts of consequences to the Mac in question if I did not let them continue. The caller also insisted he could 'prove' that they were legitimate, and gave me a website to look up. This worked earlier on the 'digital native' victim, but not on me.
They persisted with calling for quite a while, before obviously giving us up as a lost cause!
It's easy to get caught - so be alert, and alarmed!
I can understand how they were able to make this 'digital native' feel like he had no choice but to believe them.
Home alone at the time, he had no-one to consult and felt that he had to act quickly to prevent the destruction of his data.
His panicked state caused him to call the 1800 number appearing on his screen (after checking the company website that was purportedly associated with) and to follow the instructions of those who sounded like they knew what they were talking about and who were offering to solve his 'problem'. After all, a 1800 number is an Australian number, isn't it?
Are your own digital natives alert to this type of scam?
So many of our kids visit torrenting site to download music, movies and TV shows. Like it or not, it is just the 'done thing' with so many these days.
Unfortunately, torrent sites are notorious for popups and content that tricks them into clicking an option that pretends to offer one thing, but that instead introduces something called 'malware' to the computer (or, sometimes, something much worse such as a virus or ransomware).
This article alleges that about one-third of torrenting sites regularly serve malware to their users.
This prompted me to have a conversation with my own 'digital natives'
The incident described above prompted me to think about my own kids, and wonder if they could be the victim of a scam like this.
I told my kids about this scam, and about being careful not to click on popups, etc etc.
Do I think they really listened, and took notice? Not really. They certainly haven't listened to me in the past when I have talked about the importance of backups!
They are digital natives, so (of course) they already know it all!
Let me know how you go if you decide to talk to your own 'digital natives'.
Related articles and handy hints
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