Telstra is an Australian telecommunications company, providing mobile, broadband, landlines etc. In today’s Sydney Morning Herald a feature article is that scammers have now decided to try further email scams to unsuspecting Telstra customers to gain their login details, account details including name, address, date of birth.
Yet, again the fact that these scammers are only targeting Telstra customers highlights the fact that the Telstra account systems have been yet again hacked. Not that Telstra will admit to this fact.
There are a number of things you can do to block the hackers from gaining access to your Telstra account:
- Log in online from your browser and immediately change your password to at least an 8 alpha, numeric and symbol password. The best way to remember your new password is to create a phrase that you will remember. Please avoid words such as swear words, numbers such as 1,2,3 etc., and simply using the word password or admin, your name and/or your date of birth.
- As soon as you receive an email purporting to be from Telstra, immediately delete the email; then open your browser online and double check the information contained in your account section. The claims that Telstra will inform you by email that you have paid your account twice etc. is a real misnomer to say the least.
- Update your firewall settings on your router to ensure you have the latest firmware downloaded and installed. And while you’re at it, change the password to a different alpha, numeric password – again utilise a phrase you will remember. Please note: the majority of routers/modem routers will not accept symbols as part of a password.
- Run full anti-virus and anti malware scans on your computer; including CCleaner (use the free version is very good); Malware Bytes (We prefer the Pro Version, however the free version is quite good); Wise Care 365 (either the free or pro version will do the job); Bitdefender anit virus (there is a free version, however, our experience rests with the paid version which is excellent and continually tops the list of best anti virus programmes available year after year). Alternatively you could use Bullguard which also has a free and paid version which also is very good. Super Anti Spyware is another good anti malware programme and will easily pick up and inform you of any tracking cookies that have attached themselves to your computer.
- Immediately turn off any type of remote access settings on your computer. You can find these settings in a range of places i.e. system settings, device settings, advanced system tools etc. Please note: you can always enable remote access settings when you require this. Rule of thumb ensure all remote access settings are disabled until you require to use them.
- Ensure your Windows updates are up to date; and ensure if you have Windows 10 that you go to the advanced settings and disable that the updates are shared across computers.
- If your email is part of a domain name, ensure you change the password to your email account. Also ensure you spam and junk folder settings in your email account are set to high. Yes, you may have the risk of some legit emails going to your spam or junk folder, however, you will find that these types of phishing emails will automatically go to your junk folder and all you then have to do, rather than opening them is to right click and select delete. What you can do is ensure that you whitelist (mark as not spam or junk etc.) legit email addresses so you can still receive legit emails.
If you do happen to receive a suspect email from Telstra that you are not expecting to receive any email communications from the company, contact Telstra to inform them; then get onto the Australian government scam watch website and report it there also.
The last thing you want is these hacker cretins gaining access to your computer and/or to a broad range of personal information. The best defence so to speak is to ensure you run the scans and update your password and settings regularly, to stop these cretin idiots in their tracks to ensure you protect your privacy and personal information.
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