The dangers of the Internet

The dangers of the Internet

My pastor is not very computer literate. I set him up with a new iMac and showed him how to get email and check web sites. I often get calls from him asking what such-and-such error message means and what not. I got a call from him the other day, telling me that while he was on one web site, a message popped up telling him his “security had been breached.” So he clicked on the link and paid $50 for “a security upgrade.”

As you probably know, what happened was that it was one of those deceptive pop-up ads and he ended up wasting $50 on software that won’t even run on a Mac anyway. I told him to contact his credit card company and request a refund due to Internet fraud. That’s what I consider such “advertising” anyway.

It’s easy to forget, especially if you’ve been online for more than a decade like I have, how strange all this computer stuff can be and how easy it is to get fooled by unscrupulous con artists. Heck, I even had my credit card number stolen once and I don’t consider myself an amateur.

While computer and Internet access companies advertise how easy it is to get online with their products, they don’t take into account the need of some of these people to protect themselves from Net crime. If you have friends or family who aren’t all that computer literate, help them to avoid being scammed by giving them some good advice. At the least, you should tell them that if something like that “warning” pops up on their screen, they should call someone they trust before doing anything.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli