By Martin Harris / Information / / 0 Comments

Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details. \

Be alert and protect yourself from being scammed by following our tips.

Scams target everyone
Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels across Australia. There’s no one group of people who are more likely to become a victim of a scam. It’s not only the naïve and gullible who fall victim; all of us may be vulnerable to a scam at some time. Scams succeed because they look like the real thing and catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it. They also exploit your desire to be polite and respectful, as well as your generosity, compassion and good nature.

Protect yourself
1. Be alert to the fact that scams exist. When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it’s over the phone, by mail, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Know who you’re dealing with. If you’ve only ever met someone online or are unsure of the legitimacy of a business, take some time to do a bit more research. Do a Google image search on photos or search the internet for others who may have had dealings with them.

3. Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails – delete them: If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Don’t use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.

4. Keep your personal details secure. Put a lock on your mailbox and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them out. Keep your passwords and pin numbers in a safe place. Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.

5. Keep your mobile devices and computers secure. Always use password protection, don’t share access with others (including remotely), update security software and back up content. Protect your WiFi network with a password and avoid using public computers or WiFi hotspots to access online banking or provide personal information.

6. Choose your passwords carefully. Choose passwords that would be difficult for others to guess and update them regularly. A strong password should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for every account/profile, and don’t share your passwords with anyone.

7. Review your privacy and security settings on social media. If you use social networking sites, such as Facebook, be careful who you connect with and learn how to use your privacy and security settings to ensure you stay safe.  If you recognise suspicious behaviour, clicked on spam or have been scammed online, take steps to secure your account and be sure to report the conduct.

8. Beware of any requests for your details or money. Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust. Don’t agree to transfer money or goods for someone else: money laundering is a criminal offence.

9. Be careful when shopping online. Beware of offers that seem too good to be true, and always use an online shopping service that you know and trust. Think twice before using virtual currencies (like bitcoin) – they do not have the same protections as other transaction methods, which means you can’t get your money back once you send it.

For the latest safety information please check www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams

If you believe your computer, laptop, mobile device, etc (Apple, Android or Windows) has been accessed please contact your local computer store/technician and get it checked professionally. The cost could be your precious photo’s, life savings, personal identity or other important information if you do nothing!

By Martin Harris / Information / 0 Comments

What’s the Diff is here to demystify and explain in plain language how this stuff works. We’ll try to put it context for you as well, so you can understand how this stuff works & what’s important to know. We hope you find it useful, and if you have any questions about this or other stuff you’d like to see us talk about, please let us know in the comments!

In this corner: the Hard Disk Drive

The traditional spinning hard drive has been a staple for many generations of personal computers. Constantly improving technology has enabled hard drive makers to pack more storage capacity on smaller drives than ever, at a cost per gigabyte that still makes hard drives the best bang for the buck.

As sophisticated as they’ve become, hard drives have been around since 1956 although the hard drives back then were two feet across and could store only a few megabytes of information, but technology has improved to the point where you can cram 10 terabytes into something about the same size as a kitchen sponge.

Inside a hard drive is something that looks more than a bit like an old record player: There’s a platter, or stacked platters, which spin around a central axis – a spindle – typically at about 5,400 to 7,200 revolutions per minute. The 7,200 rpm hard drives are built for performance and a rarely fitted into retail units.

The two most common form factors for hard drives are 2.5-inch — common for laptops — and 3.5-inch, common for desktop machines. The size is standardized, which makes for easier repair and replacement when things go wrong.

Proven technology that’s been in use for decades makes hard disk drives cheap — much cheaper, per gigabyte, than solid state drives – as low as three cents per gigabyte. You don’t spend a lot but you get lots of space. Hard drive makers continue to improve storage capacity while keeping costs low, so hard drives remain the champion of anyone looking for a lot of storage without spending a lot of money.

The downside is that hard drives can be power-hungry, generate noise, produce heat, don’t work nearly as fast as SSDs, and are ultimately mechanical devices, so they wear out over time.

In the opposite corner: the Solid State Drive

Solid State Drives (SSDs) have become much more common in recent years. They’re standard issue across Apple’s laptop line, for example — the MacBook, Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air all come with SSDs. So does the Mac Pro. Even Macs that don’t come with SSDs by default, like the Mac mini and iMac, have SSD options, or “Fusion Drives” which combine SSD and hard drive storage together.

“Solid State” is industry shorthand for an integrated circuit, and that’s the difference between an SSD and a hard drive: there are no moving parts inside an SSD. Rather than using moving parts, SSDs use flash memory instead — that is, computer chips which retain their information even when the power is turned off.

The mechanical nature of old style hard disk drives limits their overall performance. SSDs provide a huge performance advantage over hard drives – they’re faster to start up, faster to shut down, faster to load programs and faster to transfer data.

What’s more, SSDs can be made smaller, can use less power than hard drives do, don’t make noise, and can be more reliable because they’re not mechanical. As a result, computers designed to use SSDs can be smaller, thinner, lighter and last much longer on a single battery charge than computers that use hard drives.

For practical purposes, you don’t need to worry about SSD lifespan as the SSD you put in your computer today will most likely outlast your computer.