Be wary of sharing information online

Terrace, B.C. writer doesn't even do online banking

A recent study from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) suggests that seniors’ brains are more vulnerable to being scammed, reports Good Times magazine in its February, 2013 issue, “and another study from the University of Iowa offers a reason: the part of the brain that controls a person’s level of doubt and skepticism (the ventromedial prefrontal cortex) becomes damaged with age, leaving us more vulnerable to persuasion. That makes it harder for older people to trust their instincts when it comes to misleading advertising or people trying to defraud them.”

Allowing anyone to take remote control of your computer is a dicey thing to do. Be cautious. Twice in recent years I have allowed a trustworthy, qualified person to take over my computer to help me. The first time, I had bought a replacement Lexmark printer from Mississauga and knew trying to program it myself would take me hours, lead to frustration, and might eventually require qualified help to unsnarl my mess to get things right.

Lexmark’s start-up service was free, and took little time, In addition, by email, we arranged an appointment convenient to both of us. When the appointed day and time came, Lexmark phoned me. I was spared punching of numbers and an interminable wait.

The second time, I wished to download an extra program into my Mac computer. Again I sought proper help before I messed things up. I phoned the Mac dealer in Smithers and they, too, unerringly installed the program.

I willingly paid the dealer their prevailing service rate because of the time installation took, but that was an economical deal considering that I didn’t have to ship my computer to Smithers by bus or deliver it by car. In either instance I would have been without my computer for several days, compounded by the risk of damage during transfer.

But with both companies, I sought the initial contact; no stranger phoned or emailed out of the blue suggesting I needed their services for some perhaps imaginary problem. I phoned a legitimate business phone number with a traceable physical address who I was confident employed only qualified techs. As the registered representative of my equipment’s manufacturer, they had every incentive to treat me responsibly.

I don’t do on-line banking. If I did, I would be extra careful about relinquishing remote control of my computer to anyone, certainly a stranger. As it is, to transfer money I must present myself in person at the bank wicket. My bank and its staff know me well. They can identify me without a passbook or other evidence.

Three years ago, though, when I arranged to adopt a dog from the Peace River North SPCA, they emailed me on a Saturday morning to say my dog was ready to go, his Tuesday flight on Air Canada from Fort St. John to Terrace was booked, all they lacked was my money to pay for his flight, SPCA boarding costs, and the vet’s neutering fee.

My bank wasn’t open Saturdays and I’ve never had a credit card, so those methods of payment were unavailable to me. But transfer by Western Union proved convenient for both of us. The Western Union in Fort St. John was within a block of the home of the SPCA manager; I sent the money to her in her name. In Terrace, Safeway is a Western Union agent.

My daughter looked after things at Safeway for me as part of her grocery shopping trip but was quizzed by the service desk clerk to make sure I wasn’t falling prey to a Nigeria scam.

Emails from strangers I delete without opening. And I don’t answer phone calls from Unknown Caller, calls with no I.D., or phone numbers I don’t recognize.

I may be a senior but I maintain a youthful skepticism.

 

 

Just Posted

Terrace’s first licensed marijuana store opens

KJ’s Best Cannabis will sell cannabis, pre-rolled joints and oils for customers

First rugby pitch in northern B.C. opens in Terrace

The Northmen Rugby Club held the ribbon-cutting celebration

B.C. Maxim Cover Girl semi-finalist victorious despite second-place finish

Brandi Hansen says her main goal was to spread an empowering message to others

Music that celebrates the Skeena landscape premieres in Terrace

“Skeena Suite” was dedicated to and conducted by retiring music teacher Geoff Parr

ValhallaFest readies for second annual weekend event

Number of festival-goers expected to double

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Most Read