How safe are you and your family using the internet?

How safe are you and your family using the internet? Jon McCormick

How safe do you feel using the internet? Are there ways to protect yourself from criminals attempting to access your personal information so you and your family can enjoy the benefits cyberspace offers?

According to the RCMP and the FBI, criminals have found a way to spam your emails and infect your system with malware, malicious software, called “Game Over”. This program allows the criminals to access your usernames and passwords and override your bank’s financial authentication system. “Game Over” is a new variant of “Zeus” malware which was created a number of years ago to obtain banking information.

Rural Crime Watch (RCW) has posted a number phishing attempts on our web page, the most recent being a scam where the sender has obtained your email address and addresses the message using your name. DO NOT OPEN.

In another scam the sender purports to be associated with your bank and states there is a problem with your account and wants you to click on the link to confirm their information. DO NOT DO IT!

Internet safety has to be foremost with your family security.

The RCMP states that 96 per cent of youngsters are on the internet daily. They use it to update their status on social media, text each other at school and for school research;  all with a handheld device.

This access ease has made it easy for pedophiles and others who will take advantage of your children and not break a sweat or blink an eye at their deception and cruelty.

Sending sexually explicit photos and information is against the law as Congressman Anthony Weiner and others have discovered.

Some teens have been charged and have to register as a sex offender for sending nude photos of themselves. Your children need to know the ramifications of their involvement in this activity.

Bullying has been around for decades but has taken on a new form on the internet with cyberbullying. Bullies are weak, shallow ineffective people who can not deal with their insecurities and take their inadequacies out on others. Physical confrontation is not necessary when the bully can spread hateful, threatening and embarrassing information via texting and twitter. The RCMP advises, “Online harassment is a serious offence and can include criminal charges. It is important to report incidents of cyberbullying to, because the effects can be damaging or dangerous to the individual being bullied online.”

You and your family are not without recourse. As with all your child’s activities, know where, when and with whom they are interacting. If you include your children in the danger evaluation and create a family plan, they will not feel you are being over protective or overbearing.

First and foremost you need to be computer savvy yourself. You can not sit on the sidelines and allow your kids to make the decisions. Learn how to adjust privacy settings and make sure your children know and include them in their computer/handheld. Learn social networking, whether you are interested or not. Understand that users can list information limited to a few or open to the general public.

A photo, home town, phone number and age can be listed on the social network system and be limited to just “Friends”. But what if that “Friend” sends the information to someone your child hasn’t authorized? Ensure that all internet connecting devices are protected by Spam and anti-virus software.

Learn texting lingo at and on our web site under Bulletins.

If you are the recipient of a scam or phishing attempt, share with RCW so that we can alert others.

By Jonathan McCormick and Denny Fahrentholz

“If you see something, say something… to Rural Crime Watch”



Just Posted

This bird’s eye view shows the tanker truck fire on Highway 24. (Photo taken by Kurtis Rainer)
UPDATE: Highway 24 open to single-lane traffic after fuel tanker fire

Driver pulled into the runaway lane after the truck wheels caught fire

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

(TNRD Library)
Let the mystery of the Summer Reading Club begin

Are you ready to ‘Crack the Case’ at the Barriere Library?

(Metro Creative photo)
Gardeners of all ages invited to enter 2021 NT Fall Fair contests

The North Thompson Fall Fair Drive Thru scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4,… Continue reading

Milsom Lodge was built in the East Barriere Valley when the Milsom brothers purchased two parcels of land in 1911, DL 2323 and DL2324. (Milsom’s photo)
The Milsom Lodge: The mansion, the ballroom, the history

“At the turn of the century, when so many families were leaving… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read