Stop the cyber world, I want to get off…

THANKS to a computer meltdown and the recent problems discount clothes store TK Maxx has been experiencing, I have now managed to add electronic fraud to the list of Things I Need To Be Worrying About. It s also currently making me a little bit more convi

THANKS to a computer meltdown and the recent problems discount clothes store TK Maxx has been experiencing, I have now managed to add electronic fraud to the list of Things I Need To Be Worrying About.

It's also currently making me a little bit more convinced, as backward as this may make me sound, that things were a lot simpler in ye good old days.

Recently, after getting broadband at home, our computer was attacked by loads of viruses, only to be cleaned and fixed and then infected again.

Not being the fastest computer in the world anyway, it has now really passed the point of being worth fixing and has gone to the great big computer shop in the sky.


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I'm thankfully back online on a borrowed laptop but left feeling more than a little wary about all this internet business.

The viruses seemed to flood in on my old PC and I felt pretty much defenceless against the onslaught, despite paying good money for an antivirus system.

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It's always good to know you're not alone so I suppose I can take some comfort knowing that cyber criminals have also been attacking the TK Maxx computer system.

The thing is, I probably shopped at at least one branch between January 2003 and June 2004 and now some devious blighter might be swanning around out there with my credit card details, so I'm a bit worried about that as well.

It almost - although not quite - makes me want to keep my cash under my mattress where I can rely on a good old-fashioned lock on the door, rather than fancy computer software, to keep it safe.

What really scares me about crime to do with computers is it can actually be quite hard to notice.

If someone breaks into your house then you notice the door or window has been damaged, whereas if your debit card gets cloned and you don't check your bank balance for a couple of days, they could already have bought a car and a holiday to the Bahamas before you're any the wiser.

Of course the problem now is that while we're at risk from identify theft and electronic fraud - new forms of crime, which become ever more sophisticated - we're still also likely to get mugged or burgled or to have our cars stolen, so we're at risk from the older types of crime as well as new ones.

It feels a bit like with every new improvement in technology, it brings with it another risk to our safety or security.

My laptop at home is now almost like an electronic Fort Knox with all the software I've put on it to protect it and I'm rather hoping TK Maxx have done the same, but it still makes you paranoid about who can do what with your information.

The only way to stay really safe is to not go anywhere, do anything or buy anything, which doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun to me.

I think I'll just have to carry on as before and hope that the criminals of this world - both old fashioned burglars and modern cyber crooks - leave me alone.

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