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Neighbourhood Alert

The website is www.neighbourhoodalert.co.uk/

Neighbourhood Alert provides an advanced community messaging system solution for police forces, local authorities and Neighbourhood Watch.

The Neighbourhood Alert message system was initially developed to complement the existing Neighbourhood Watch service in the area and is now used by more than 30 police, fire and rescue, local authority, utility and national organisations throughout the UK.

The Alert database grew to over 500,000 members in June 2017.

It has a database of members who want to receive relevant alerts and there’s now over 50,000 members.

Registered Members 644,772

Registered Businesses 24,902

Businesses Messages Sent Today216,722

The Neighbourhood Alert system is an online, secure community messaging system that allows authorised administrators to log in and send messages to registered people in the community who have chosen to receive them.

There is also a survey tool (Community View),that helps the police to gain a real-time understanding of opinions from any community group you choose, by incorporating Experian’s Mosaic data.

There is also Social Sense which is an integrated solution that enables digital media teams to take control and manage activity across multiple social media accounts.

There is a smart phone APP providing registered users with quick and easy access to the latest alerts, as well as the ability to configure their account settings. It allows you to receive messages based on your location in real time, via push notifications.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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Facebook Safety Advice for Parents

Facebook has created a portal for parents at https://www.facebook.com/safety/parents to help them navigate the complex issues of privacy and safety for their children.

It’s a set of basic information with access to more detailed information if wanted.

Facebook say their community standards aim to find the right balance between giving people a place on Facebook to express themselves and promoting a welcoming and safe environment for everyone. They help you understand what is and isn’t OK to share on Facebook. We remove reported content that goes against our Community Standards.

Policies for keeping teens safe

These tools empower individuals to protect themselves against unwanted content, unwanted contact, and bullying and harassment online. When it comes to teens, Facebook take some extra precautions.

There is various information under subjects including:-

  • Underage accounts
  • Blocking
  • Reporting bullying, harassment and other issues
  • Safe friending
  • Safe sharing

The final piece of advice from Facebook to parents is to trust yourself. They suggest that you can adopt the same parenting style for your child’s online activities as you use for their offline activities. If you find that your child responds best to a negotiated agreement, create a contract that you can both sign. Or maybe your child just needs to know the basic rules.

If you have children using Facebook, make sure you know what they are doing and protect them against criminals on Facebook.

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

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Stupidest Scam of the Week – Transport to China

Andee of Hyun Logistics in Guandong, China want to know the date of my next shipment to China and can they offer a lower bid for the work.

Email Marketing can be effective for some businesses BUT only when they buy contact information from a reputable source and are able to select businesses for whom their products and services are relevant.

We are a radio station so we don’t ship goods to China so why would anyone in their right mind send such a request to us?

Because, like so many people they are lazy and stupid. They think it’s a good idea to buy 100 million email addresses for $200 and send out that many emails. They know perfectly well that the messages are irrelevant to 99.999% of recipients of the emails but they don’t care. It’s cheap and easy and let the recipients decide what to do with the emails.

Sending emails from China means they don’t have to comply with GDPR rules or anything similar.

I hope they get zero business from their emails and a lot of complaints.

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TSB Punished by Customers

A recent poll by Which magazine shows that TSB is now regarded as poor and rated even lower than RBS and other lenders responsible for the financial crisis.

In February 2018, TSB was highly ranked by its customers as a bank you can trust, but then the sky fell in for the bank when their new IT systems that hadn’t been tested sufficiently collapsed and many customers were locked out of their accounts for days or weeks in some cases.

Some customers had accidental access to other people’s accounts, the bank had little idea of what to do and their communication with customers was poor leaving many very angry at what happened.

To make matters worse, many fraudsters jumped on the bandwagon and began sending fake emails and making calls to TSB customers, leading to a large number of frauds.

The problems led the FCA to begin an investigation with the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Up to 1.9 million people using TSB’s digital and mobile banking found themselves locked out of their bank accounts following the migration of data on customers from former owner Lloyds’ IT system to a new one managed by current owner Sabadell.

TSB CEO Dr Pester told MPs on the Treasury Committee that he took “absolute responsibility” for the problems, but said the migration of billions of customer records was successful “to the penny” and the underlying engine of the bank was “working well”.

Paul Pester lost his job but the damage done to consumer confidence will take a long time to recover.

The problems had a simple cause – inadequate testing of the new systems in order to save time and stay on schedule.  That was a bad judgement.

The lesson is clear – do not take risks with customer data as you may end up very sorry.

If you’ve had bad experiences with TSB – let me know by email.

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Data Sharing by APPS Out of Control

Oxford researchers looked at nearly one million APPS on Google Play Store and found that almost 90% of free APPS collect data and send it to Google, plus almost 40% collect data and send it to companies owned by Facebook.

Some of this is legitimate and necessary e.g. collecting and sending data on APP failures which helps the software maker to improve their product and Google Analytics data enables website owners to track their online usage via Google and so on.

But it does seem that a lot is to do with advertising.

The concept of free APPS is of course a tricky one as the APP makers have to make money somehow and passing data to potential advertisers is one way that many users won’t mind. But some of us do mind that our data is shared without our permission and this should not be allowed.

The sort of data collected can include age, gender, location, list of other installed APPS etc.

The research also found that 33% of the APPS send data to Twitter, 26% to Verizon (Yahoo, Tumblr etc.), 22% to Microsoft, 18% to Amazon etc.

These third-party trackers were mostly prevalent in news apps and apps aimed at children and young adults. By tracking user data – which includes information like age, location, gender, buying habits, and other miscellaneous information- companies can form a profile of users. This can then be used to send target specific ads, influence a user’s buying habits or even send political campaign messages.

Used in this manner, profiling of children without attempting to obtain parental consent, is illegal.

Do review the privacy settings on your APPS and delete any APPS you believe are sharing your data without your consent.

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How to become a Scammer

Millions of people around the world have decided to steal from others rather than trying to make money by legitimate means.

Here’s the process they may go through in making that decision.

  1. You assess yourself and realise that you are a lying, cheating, repulsive human being. You are a first class scumbag and have no soul. Without this realisation you won’t become a scammer.
  2. You decide that you are going to steal from others to get what you want – you don’t care if your victims are rich or poor, young or old, healthy or sick. Any victim is fine and statistically victims are more likely to be older, less wealthy and less healthy than the average.
  3. Next, you decide on the method of scam to use:-
    1. Face-to-face
    2. By post
    3. By email
    4. By text message
    5. Create fake websites
    6. On social media
    7. Any combination of the above
  4. Then you select the scam you want to use. There are thousands but most scammers stick to the tried and trusted ones rather than being creative enough to find a new scam. The simplest way is to directly copy other scammers.
    1. Investment / Pump and dump
    2. Phishing then sell the details to other scammers
    3. Identity Theft
    4. 419 scams i.e. promise something valuable but never deliver
    5. Miracle health products that don’t exist or are cheap rubbish
    6. Retail of fake products
    7. Malware distribution
    8. Computer support calls
    9. Cyber currencies
    10. Job Offers
    11. Fake loans
    12. Scareware
    13. Travel scams etc.

etc.

  1. You carry out the scams
  2. You enjoy the benefits of theft until you are caught and imprisoned and hopefully suffer a great deal for the misery you have caused other people

Give yourself a worthwhile life – don’t be a scammer.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

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