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Protect yourself from cyber-crime – Phuket Business

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Protect yourself from cyber-crime – Phuket Business | The Thaiger

PHUKET: As an expatriate living in a foreign country, you are particularly vulnerable to cyber-crime as you probably use the Internet to access your financial accounts and the statements associated with those accounts. With that in mind, here are ten tips to help you foil potential cyber-criminals:

Security starts with your financial institution

Although it’s inconvenient, your financial institution should have installed multiple layers of security or steps (e.g. passwords, personal questions only you can answer etc.) before even you can access your accounts. Plus, they should have advanced encryption software and firewalls installed. Moreover, there should be a secure way once you are logged into your account to send messages to and receive messages from your financial institution.

Know your rights and obligations


Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your rights (e.g. insurance against fraud) and obligations are in the jurisdiction your financial institution is based in should there be unauthorized access to or transactions using your financial account.

Ensure your technology devices are secure


Be sure to have the most up-to-date browser, anti-virus and spyware software installed on all of your technology devices and that you have the firewalls enabled. If you have more than one device, designate one that rarely (if ever) leaves your home to log-on to financial accounts or the email address associated with your accounts.

Have a super-secure email for financial accounts

Don’t use the same email you use for personal correspondence, social media or one that you regularly provide to online sources as the email you give to your financial institutions. Moreover, never log onto that email address from an unsecure device on a Wi-Fi hotspot without a password.

Use different user names, passwords or PINs

Don’t use the same user names or PINs for email, social media or any type of non-important online account for your financial accounts.

Keep your account info in a safe place

Ideally, you should memorize all your account numbers, user names and passwords. Realistically, you should write this information down and store it in a safe place. And remember, it’s not just cyber-criminals you need to protect this information from, as ordinary criminals, housekeepers and even friends or family could misuse it too.

Download and store financial statements in a safe place

Should your account be compromised or locked for suspicious activity and you are an expat in a foreign country, getting the matter resolved will not be easy. However, having the latest financial statements downloaded and stored in a safe place will help you to verify your identity with your financial institution and regain access to your accounts as quickly as possible.

Beware of Wi-Fi hotspots


Cyber-criminals have been known to set up phony hotspots for unwary tourists or expats in airports, hotels or elsewhere – meaning you should never log on to any unfamiliar or unsecure Wi-Fi network and then log on to personal email or financial accounts.

Beware of phishing schemes

Phishing schemes targeting expats can range from the ubiquitous emails your spam folders usually collect, to actual phone calls or text messages. So before you give out any personal information in response to an email, phone call or SMS, be sure to confirm it’s actually from your financial institution.

Remember, most legitimate financial institutions will not contact you in this way and even if you do receive an email that appears to be from your financial institution (like one notifying you that your online statement is now available), don’t click on any link in it as it might install malware on your device or take you to a phishing website.

Be careful with social media

No matter how tempting it is to rant online or on social media about a financial institution, you probably have enough information on your social media accounts to make it easy for cyber-criminals or even someone you know to try and access your accounts.

Moreover, there are a number of background check services that could reveal enough missing information about you to enable a savvy cyber-criminal or someone you know to access your financial accounts.

Don Freeman is president of Freeman Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), based in Phuket, Thailand. He has over 15 years experience and provides personal financial planning and wealth management to expatriates. Specializing in UK and US pension transfers. Call 089-970-5795 or email: freemancapital@gmail.com. Call to discuss ways to reduce portfolio fees and get your account growing efficiently.

Keep checking our online Phuket Business pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter @PhuketGazette for local and national business news.

— Don Freeman

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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