Larilyn’s Tip of the Week

Ahhhh, technology.  It’s such a wonderful thing!  It allows us to be more productive.  It keeps us connected to family and friends across large distances.  It grants us access to practically any television series imaginable so that we can watch all 4,000 seasons in one weekend and not even feel a little bit guilty.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  As wonderful as technology is – it’s also very sneaky, and CANNOT be trusted!

“But Larilyn!” I hear you saying in your inner dialogue voice.  “What on earth do you mean by that?  My whole life is centered around my devices.”

I respond by saying this.  First of all, you are on earth so your life centers around the sun.
Second of all – as great as technology is, there is so much about it that can’t be trusted.

Take emails for example.  Think about what it takes for you to set up an email account.  You log onto your favorite email site – Hotmail, AOL, what have you.  You tell them what your name is and what you want your email address to be.

Think about that for a moment.  You tell them who you are.  You pick the name.  They don’t check your ID.  They don’t do any kind of verification.  They take you at your word.  

I could tell them that I am Snuffleupagus, and they wouldn’t bat an eye.  They would just wonder why I don’t write to Big Bird more often.
The same is true for phone numbers and caller ID.  I can set up a phone line through a VOIP provider (many companies use VOIP lines now instead of land lines).  Part of the set up process is I tell them what I want my caller ID to show up as.  So I could tell them that I am Phoebe Buffay, and that’s what will show up when I call people.
And now I hear your inner voice again.  “Okay Larilyn, that may be true…..but who cares?  Why does it matter?”

I will tell you why it matters.  Because as a people, we are too trusting.  We get an email that says it is from our childhood best friend and we get excited and will click on any link he has sent us because we fondly remember our childhood and think that he can be trusted. 

Or we get a phone call that says it is from Microsoft, and we will believe them when they tell us that our computer has been compromised and we have to give them $400 for them to run a scan and repair – they just need the money and access to our computer.
So please – always confirm the sender of an email if it seems phishy.  Or even if it doesn’t but it’s not someone you’re expecting something from – just confirm it with them!  

Pay little attention to the phone number or the caller ID.  If it’s a number you recognize but doesn’t sound like the person you know, it might not be legit.  If it says it is coming from a legit business but you don’t have any business with them, it might not be legit.  And if a legit business is calling you, they need to confirm who they are, they don’t need you to confirm who you are!

Don’t trust people saying they are from Microsoft or any other kind of tech support.  You know us in the office.  If it’s not Scott, Jose, or Larilyn, it’s probably not legit.  Shoot us a quick email or give us a call.  We’ll let you know if it’s a scam. 

Just be careful and everything will be alright!

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