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End of scam calls? UK telco’s agree to auto-block

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Complaints from UK citizens being harassed with scam calls have been heard by the country’s telco giants

Britain’s major telecommunication company’s have agreed to automatically block almost all internet calls coming from abroad if they pretend to be from UK numbers, Ofcom has confirmed.

Scammers have been using internet-based calling technology to make it look like a phone call or text is coming from a real telephone number within Britain, rather than opting for a “No Caller ID”

Almost 45 million consumers were targeted by scam calls this summer.

Ofcom said it expected the measures to be introduced at pace as a “priority”.

Approximately 45 million consumers were targeted by phone scams this summer. | Image: File

Currently, just one telco, TalkTalk, has implemented the new plans

Other phone networks such as Vodafone are still exploring methods of making it work.

“We’ve been working with telecoms companies to implement technical solutions, including blocking at source, suspicious international calls that are masked by a UK number,”

said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s networks and communications group director.
Lindsey Fussell (Ofcom)

“We expect these measures to be introduced as a priority, and at pace, to ensure customers are better protected.”

She added tackling the phone scams issue was a “complex problem” that required a coordinated effort from the police, government, other regulators and industry.

The move follows months of discussions between Ofcom and the UK telecoms industry.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Tech

How to know if your data has been hacked

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If you’ve been following the news, you’ll know that data privacy is a hot topic right now. Just this week, it was revealed that the data of millions of Optus customers in Australia had been hacked

So how can you tell if your data has been compromised? Here are some signs to look out for:

1. Unexpected emails or messages from companies or organisations you’re not signed up with. This could be anything from a generic phishing email to a more targeted attack where hackers have obtained your personal data and are using it to try and gain access to your accounts.

2.Strange activity on your online accounts – for example, log-ins from unusual locations or devices, or changes to your password or contact details that you didn’t make.

3.Receiving bills or invoices for products or services you didn’t purchase. This is often a sign that your financial data has been accessed and used to make unauthorised purchases.

Optusdata hacker mocked on social media for clumsy attack – READ HERE

If you suspect that your data may have been hacked, it’s important to act quickly. Change your passwords on all your online accounts and run a virus scan on your devices. You should also contact the relevant organisations (e.g. your bank, credit card company etc.) to let them know and report the incident.

Data hacks are becoming more and more common, so it’s important to be vigilant about protecting your data privacy. By following these simple steps, you can help to keep your data safe.

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Tech

War in Ukraine collides with world of tech

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Russia’s largest social media app has been taken off Apple’s App store

VKontakte is a popular Russian social media app with millions of downloads.

The app’s users have been told the it will no longer be on the popular app store.

Other games made by the same developer have also been taken offline.

It’s unclear why the app has stopped showing online.

But many western companies have left Russia themselves, including Nike and McDonalds in the wake of President Putin’s war in Ukraine.

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Optusdata hacker mocked on social media for clumsy attack

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Hackers are having a field day mocking the “Optusdata” hacker who stole the personal information of more than 10 million Australians.

The hapless hacker made the mistake of demanding a $1.5 million ransom from Optus, and then apologised when they didn’t get their way.

Now they’re being ridiculed by the very people they were trying to impress.

“This just goes to show that you can’t trust any optusdata these days,” said one commenter on an online forum. “They’ll steal your data and then humiliate you for it.”

“I wouldn’t give them a cent,” said another. “They don’t deserve it.”

How to know if your data has been hacked – READ HERE

Millions impacted

The company has downplayed the incident, saying that only a small percentage of its customers’ data was actually stolen.

“We would like to reassure our customers that their data is safe and secure,” an Optus spokesperson said. “We have robust security measures in place to protect our customers’ information.”

If you’re an Optus customer, you can check to see if your data was stolen by going to optusdata.com.au/hackcheck

You should also change your password and be on the lookout for any suspicious activity on your account.

If you’re worried about your data, you should change your password and be on the lookout for any suspicious activity on your account.

Optus has downplayed the incident, saying that only a small percentage of its customers’ data was actually stolen. However, the company is still urging customers to take precautions.

Government action

The Albanese government has said that it is “deeply concerned” about the hack and is working with Optus to investigate the matter.

“We take the security of our citizens’ data very seriously,” a spokesperson for the Albanese government said.

“This incident highlights the need for all businesses to have robust security measures in place to protect their customers’ information.”

The Albanese government is urging all businesses to review their security measures in light of the Optus hack.

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