Sounds too good to be true
New technology is constantly changing the way we live, work, and communicate. It offers many benefits for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole. But like anything in life, there are shortcomings.
In a series of articles to be printed in The Majellan over the next few issues, we will look at the upside and downside of living with new technology in the 21st century, especially for older Australians.
Rather than start with the negatives, we will begin with the positives. Some of the benefits of new technology include:
- New technology enables faster, easier, and more effective communication across different platforms and devices. It also allows people to access more information and share their thoughts, ideas, and opinions with others and helps bridge the gaps between cultures, languages, and locations.
- It can help improve the productivity and quality of various processes and tasks and reduces wastage, errors, and costs.
- It can help create new, innovative products, services, and solutions that meet the needs and expectations of customers and society. It can also foster creativity, collaboration, and learning among individuals and teams.
- Technology can help solve problems and challenges in various domains such as health, education, environment, and security.
- New technology can help expand the market reach and revenue streams of businesses. It can also create new jobs and careers for individuals. Technology can help provide access to education, health care, financial services, and other essential resources for people who may otherwise be excluded or disadvantaged.
- It can help reduce the environmental impact of human activities. It can also support the transition to a greener economy and society by improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting renewable energy sources, and conserving natural resources.
- It also has the potential to make our world fairer, more peaceful, and more equitable. However, it also comes with challenges and risks that need to be addressed. Therefore, it is important to use technology responsibly and ethically.
Now for the downsides. One of the biggest issues for many people these days are online scams. Young and old are being caught up in cons that are becoming more and more sophisticated.
Scammers use various methods to contact people, such as phone calls, emails, SMS, social media, or fake websites. They often pretend to be someone that can be trusted, such as a bank, a government agency, a charity, or a business. They may offer prizes, opportunities, inheritances, or services that are too good to be true.
Scams can affect anyone, regardless of age, background, or income level. They can cause financial losses, identity theft, emotional distress, and legal problems.
So, what do people need to look out for? Here are some tips on how to avoid scams online:
Before you respond to any offer or request online, do some background checks on the source. Search for the name of the person, company, or product online and look for reviews, complaints, or warnings. You can also check the official websites of government agencies or consumer protection organisations for scam alerts or advice.
Never give out your bank account details, credit card numbers, passwords, PINs, or other sensitive information online unless you initiated the contact and verified the identity of the recipient. Be wary of any requests for money transfers, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies. Scammers may use these methods to avoid detection and traceability.
Scammers may send you emails or messages that contain malicious links or attachments that can infect your device with viruses or malware. These can compromise your security and allow scammers to access your data or accounts. Delete any messages that look suspicious or come from unknown sources. Don’t click on any links or open any attachments unless you are sure they are safe and relevant.
Scammers may try to create a sense of urgency or fear to make you act quickly without thinking. They may threaten you with legal action, account suspension, fines, or penalties if you don’t comply with their demands. They may also claim that you have a limited time to claim a prize or an opportunity before it expires. Don’t be rushed into a decision but take your time and seek advice from someone you trust.
If you encounter a scam online, report it to the relevant authorities as soon as possible. This can help to warn others and prevent further mischief. You can also block the scammers from contacting you again by deleting their messages, emails, phone numbers, or social media accounts.
Remember, as the old saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be smart and stay safe online.
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