Digital Security – Frequently Asked Questions

Whilst it’s all fine and well learning about the different security risks you face every time you boot up your computer, often questions can go unanswered. We’ve put together ten often-asked digital security questions that we hope will help fill in any blanks.

Trying to understand the digital security world can be hard work. There’s so much to take in, that it’s easy to become lost in the quagmire of acronyms and homophones. Hopefully we can help you out with these ten FAQs.

Q: Do I need an antivirus program?

Without a doubt, yes. Windows 10 uses the built-in Windows Defender program to help protect you online. It’s more than ample for most users but often better security is required.

Q: Are viruses only a problem on dodgy sites?

No, sorry. Even legitimate websites can be infected with a virus or some other form of malware. Remember too, a computer virus can enter your system in other ways, not just online.

Q: Is online banking safe?

Online banking is remarkably safe and utilises the latest and continually evolving security encryption methodologies. There’s military grade security at every level of the online process, and it’s highly unlikely to be hacked.

Q: Are hackers after me?

Whilst it’s true that most hackers aren’t interested in the average user, they’re after bigger targets, there are instances where you could be targeted for one reason or another. Generally speaking, the average user will only be targeted en masse in a country-wide phishing or similar attack.

digital-security

Q: Should I keep a phone scammer on the line?

Yes, there’s nothing stopping you. A school of thought is that while you keep them on the line, turning it into a mock-prank call, you’re saving someone else from being duped. However, it’s best to simply tell them you know they’re trying to scam you and hang up.

Q: Does having extra security cost a lot?

Most of the security changes you can adopt don’t cost anything, just you being more aware and knowledgeable about what’s going on. In terms of an antivirus product, most of the better total security suites will cost you an annual subscription.

Q: How often do I need to update everything?

Windows 10 keeps a continual update cycle in operation, delivering the latest updates in the background. However, it’s always best to do a daily check for any updates for both Windows and any programs you regularly use.

Q: How do I know if something being offered is a scam?

That’s a difficult question to answer. More often than not, if it’s too good to be true then it’s likely to be a scam of some form or another. There are times though when genuine offers are made. It’s best to research as much as possible before committing to anything.

Q: I think I’ve just been scammed, what do I do?

If you think you’ve been scammed, you need to quickly make some changes:

  • Change your Windows/Mac password
  • Inform your bank that your details may be compromised
  • Email friends and relatives that you’ve been scammed
  • File a police report
  • Scan your computer for threats
  • Check your credit card reports.

Q: I’ve opened a scam email attachment, what do I do now?

There’s a good chance you may have a virus on your computer. Close all open programs, open Windows Defender and do a Full Scan of the system. If anything is detected Defender will tell you what to do. Then, consider a third-party AV suite and scan the computer again.

Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. A self-confessed (and proud) geek about all things tech, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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