Online Scams

Fortunately to Keep Safe online, you don’t have to become an expert in all the possible ways fraud might happen. This article will enable you to understand how and why you should take a few simple precautions.

You do however need to understand that the biggest risk for fraud on your computer comes from either:

unwanted software that has gained access to the computer


using a PC without adequate understanding or being careless when using it.

Criminals no longer have to break into your property to steal your valuables, because whether from the former Soviet bloc, West Africa or the Philippines, they can gain access through your computer.

The range of online scams is so large that it is totally impossible to cover all the types of scam that have been discovered. All we can do here is give you a flavour of some in the hope that it will alert you and enable you to spot others. Internet scams cost UK holidaymakers £2.2m last year. In the last 6 months of 2014, free trial scams cost RBS customers £2.9 million. Here is an article that will give you a good flavour of how wide-ranging scams are.

Phishing: This is a term that relates to email fraud. It gets its name from the fact that it is aimed at a large number of addresses. They don’t know you personally. Only a small number of recipients need to be duped by the email for them to be successful. The email is intended to look like an authentic message from a well-known company, most often a bank or email service provider. They will claim a problem with your account which you need to verify or your account will be closed unless you login in the next 48 hours. Fortunately, many are not very authentic and obvious key details are missing (like your name).

See also “Links and Downloads” below.

Online Payments: The main threats are from making payments over unsecured web pages and via

emails directing you to fake websites that are set up to collect your payment card details.

Online Shopping:  The article from getsafeonline explains the risks and how to shop online safely.

Copied 08/07/2015

Copied 08/07/2015

Secure communications across the internet, particularly where financial transactions are involved, must have

the ‘https’ prefix (note the ‘S’) to a secure web address as well as the lock symbol.

Note how different the security features can be on different browsers. How my secure gmail account appears in 3 browsers.

Credit Card Guarantee (Section 75 rights): For items costing over £100, the credit card company are jointly liable with the retailer. So, if you have problems with your purchase you can go straight to the card company for redress. BUT – many companies now offer payment by credit card but via PayPal. You will lose your Section 75 rights if you do this.

You can read more about how to protect yourself against online scams and the clues to spotting fake websites here.

Avoiding Rogue Websites:  A good antivirus suite will alert you if you are trying to access a rogue website. It will also give you reassurance, if you are doing a search, which sites carry no known risk.

safe surfing

website warning

Links and Attachments in Fraudulent Emails:

Clicking a link is a very convenient way to load a desired item. As an example we have created the links with both Text & a Logo which you would think would go to the Caerphilly Council Website, however, they do not go where you might think. If you hover your mouse over either of them, you should be able to see the actual address in the bottom left of your screen. As it happens these are quite safe; they will take you to getsafeonline. BUT it is easy to assume a link is safe. We suggest you always glance down to the bottom of the screen and check.

Caerphilly Council Website                                           Caerphilly Logo

But check very carefully. Cybercriminals may also use web addresses that look very similar to that of well-known companies. Would you accept this address and click a link to it?

Attachments in emails should be viewed with equal caution. Never open an attachment unless you are very sure of the authenticity of the source.

Windows 10 Free Upgrade

If you have Windows 7(SP1) or Windows 8.1 you should be able to upgrade to Windows 10 on July 29th or for up to one year after that date.


Let’s start the positives with a word from Microsoft

Windows 10 has been designed to operate seamlessly across all platforms, PC, Laptop, Tablets and phones; performance being optimised to touchscreens.

It comes with Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant. This is intended to provide faster access to important information, whether talking or typing. Internet Explorer is replaced with a new web browser, specifically designed for Windows 10; Microsoft Edge. The browser lets you annotate webpages by keyboard or pen before sharing them, while there’s also a distraction-free website reading view that simply gives you a site’s text and key images. The integration of digital assistant Cortana should make searching online and scheduling calendar appointments easier and faster too.

[If you want to find out what they are doing with Xbox and Microsoft HoloLens (what!), I refer you to your search engine!]


Major software launches usually means bugs to be sorted. Microsoft is offering free upgrades for a year after launch and so it might be wise to wait for 6months or so before upgrading. If you have Windows 8.1 and are happy with using it, I believe Microsoft have committed to support it until 2023. Of course, if you buy new hardware in the meantime, it is likely to come with a later OS.

Apparently Microsoft Office suite has been redesigned from the ground up to run on all Windows 10 platforms, while still retaining the familiar Office features. I have also seen suggestions that it will come free with Windows 10 but I have not seen anything definitive on that. If that is important to you, doubtless it will be clear once launched and you will know what you are getting if you delay your upgrade.

Why has Windows 8 only survived one update to 8.1? What happened to Windows 9? According to this article Windows 10 is no more than a rebranding of Windows 8, originally rumoured to be an upgrade to Windows 8.2. So, not all reviewers are overly enthusiastic about Windows 10.

How to Upgrade to Windows 10

Step 1: If you own Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 then you’re eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. However, in order to get Windows 10 you need to be running the latest version of your respective system.

To update your version of Windows over the internet, first open Windows Update by clicking the Start button. In the search box, type Update and then click Windows Update in the results.

In the left pane, click Check for updates and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer. If any updates are found, click Install updates.

Step 2: Once your operating system is completely up-to-date you can reserve your free update for Windows 10 (if you want to upgrade as soon as it is available). Take a look at your system tray (in the lower right of your desktop) and you should see the Windows logo:        Windows logoClick it to begin the reservation process and enter your email to receive a reminder once Windows 10 is available.

Note 1: My laptop, running Windows 8.1 acquired the system tray logo automatically. My PC running Windows 7, despite fulfilling all the criteria for being up to date refuses to get the logo. Apparently, it will be possible to test after launch if it is the specification of my computer that makes it ineligible.

Note 2: On January 13, 2015, Microsoft stopped mainstream support for Windows 7–which is still an extremely popular operating system. But you’ll still be able to use it safely for another five years. Once mainstream support ends, there will be no more service packs. Microsoft won’t redesign the environment or add new features. Microsoft will patch vulnerabilities that could become security risks; Windows 7 remains a safe operating system.

Helping Blind & Partially Sighted Get Online

RNIBOnline Today  –  RNIB

Our Online Today team supports blind and partially sighted people to get online and access digital services. We support people of all abilities to access new technologies like Kindles, Smartphones, Tablets (iPads/Android) and laptops.

We help complete beginners and those who want to brush up on their skills.

Our team offer individual support that includes:

  • An introduction to using a computer and the internet
  • Support to set up an email account and social networking pages such as Twitter and Facebook
  • Getting the best deals by paying bills online
  • Shopping online
  • Uploading and sharing digital photographs
  • Chatting online using Skype
  • Product demonstrations including Kindle, Smartphones and Tablets like iPads/Android
  • Advice about software
  • Referral to other agencies and RNIB services

For more information about the project contact us on

029 2082 8518 or email

You can download a referral form here: RNIB Referral Form