[This is a quickly written post in response to an event which occurred recently in my family. It is my hope that by sharing this message I can prevent others from experiencing this. I shall try to update this to be as useful as possible as time goes on.]
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have swiftly past, and Christmas is soon upon us.
Please. Do not let the internet grinches of the world spoil your or your family’s Happy Christmas.
That special gift!
I’m sure many of you out there will be buying loved ones laptops, computers, smart phones and tablets this year (or passing on your old equipment as you get new items). While they will make a wonderful present, perhaps bringing the family closer by giving them access to Skype, Facetime, Facebook and email.
I’m sure they will be presents which will no doubt will bring them many hours of joy!
Unfortunately, there are those out there who do not subscribe to the “Season of Goodwill to all Men [and Women]“ ethos and franky will stoop to any low to swindle your loved ones out of money for their own gains. Often, the damage is not the money involved (which can be several hundred pounds) but more the psychological effect of finding out they have been conned. This can be very upsetting to those involved, and often is a huge violation into their perceived personal safety. Much like being burgled, the items can be replaced but the thought that someone has done it remains.
Often gifts of computers and tablets will be for family members who may have never used the internet before, they may even be young and inexperienced, or older and not technologically confident. While you are most likely clued up on the pitfalls and dangers of the internet, the people you are introducing to this world may not be. So when you give them the device, make sure you also pass on plenty of advice with it.
Remember it is likely by giving your loved ones a computer that they will not want to “hassle you” or appear stupid, they will want to be independent so they may not ask when they are unsure.
Unfortunately this makes them prime targets for these people.