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Holiday season brings uptick of online scams

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Staying safe online is crucial, especially during the festive season when online shopping activity tends to increase. Here are some simple steps to help users stay safe online:

 

 

 

  1. Use Strong Passwords:
    • Create unique and strong passwords for each online account.
    • Include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
    • Avoid using easily guessable information, such as birthdays or names.
  2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
    • Enable 2FA whenever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.
    • This usually involves receiving a code on your mobile device in addition to entering your password.
  3. Keep Software and Devices Updated:
    • Regularly update your operating system, browsers, antivirus software, and any other applications to patch vulnerabilities.
    • Enable automatic updates when available.
  4. Shop from Secure Websites:
    • Look for “https://” in the website URL and a padlock icon in the address bar, indicating a secure connection.
    • Avoid making purchases on websites that don’t have these security indicators.
  5. Be Wary of Phishing Attempts:
    • Avoid clicking on suspicious links in emails, messages, or pop-ups.
    • Verify the legitimacy of the website by directly typing the URL into the address bar.
  6. Check for Website Reviews:
    • Before making a purchase, check online reviews and ratings for the website and the specific product.
    • Be cautious if a website has a high number of negative reviews or seems untrustworthy.
  7. Monitor Bank Statements:
    • Regularly check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized transactions.
    • Report any suspicious activity to your bank immediately.
  8. Use Credit Cards for Online Purchases:
    • Credit cards often provide better fraud protection than debit cards.
    • Consider using virtual credit card numbers or third-party payment services for added security.
  9. Limit Personal Information Sharing:
    • Be cautious about sharing personal information online, especially on social media.
    • Adjust privacy settings to control who can see your personal details.
  10. Log Out of Accounts:
    • Always log out of your accounts, especially on shared or public computers.
    • Use password-protected devices to prevent unauthorized access.
  11. Educate Yourself about Scams:
    • Stay informed about common online scams and tactics used by cybercriminals.
    • Be skeptical of unsolicited emails or messages requesting personal information.
  12. Use a VPN for Added Privacy:
    • Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks to encrypt your internet connection.
  13. Regularly Back Up Your Data:
    • Back up important data regularly to prevent loss in case of a security breach or device failure.
  14. Teach Safe Online Practices to Children:
    • If you have children using the internet, educate them about online safety and the risks associated with sharing personal information.

By following these simple steps, users can enhance their online safety and enjoy a secure shopping experience during the festive season and beyond.

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NASA confirms Odysseus lunar aircraft tipped over after failed moon landing

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NASA has confirmed that the first privately owned spacecraft to land on the moon, named Odysseus, has tipped over onto its side after a failed landing.

Despite the setback, the spacecraft is reported to be “alive and well.”

Initial data received by Intuitive Machines, the company behind the spacecraft, indicated that Odysseus had successfully landed with all six feet on the lunar surface.

However, subsequent updates revealed that the lander is now laying on its side on the lunar landscape.

According to CEO Steve Altemus, the mishap occurred when one of the lander’s legs became caught, causing it to tip over onto a rock.

This unexpected turn of events occurred a day after what was initially confirmed as a soft landing.

Solar power

While laying on its side has hindered radio transmission and potentially impacted the craft’s ability to receive solar power, Altemus reassured during a press conference that much of Odysseus’ operating abilities remain intact.

“We do have communications with the lander,” Altemus stated, noting that commands are still being sent to the vehicle.

Efforts are underway to obtain the first photo images from the lunar surface at the landing site.

Despite the setback, Intuitive Machines expressed confidence in Odysseus’ overall performance.

Mission director Tim Crain highlighted the spacecraft’s flawless flight to the moon, during which it utilized a propulsion fuel of liquid methane and liquid oxygen for the first time in space.

The journey to the lunar surface was not without its challenges, as a problem with the lander’s navigation system emerged during the final approach and descent. Ground engineers had to implement an untested workaround at the last minute to ensure a safe landing.

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Policeman charged with murdering TV presenter and his boyfriend

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A major update in the disappearance of a Channel 10 presenter and his Qantas flight attendant boyfriend, as a police officer with connections to the missing couple has been charged with two counts of murder.

NSW Police have released footage of constable Beau Lamarre-Condon handing himself in to Bondi police station.

Beau Lemarre, 28, a former celebrity blogger turned NSW Police officer, surrendered to authorities on Friday morning, following a frantic overnight search.

The charges stem from the mysterious disappearance of Lemarre’s ex-boyfriend, Jesse Baird, and Baird’s partner, Luke Davies, who were last seen on Monday.

Jesse Baird and Luke Davies are pictured.

Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty confirmed the charges, stating, “Charges have been submitted for two counts of murder.”

He further added that Lemarre is expected to be formally denied bail and brought before the court.

Jesse Baird on the set of Studio 10

Police weapon

Police allege that Lemarre used his service weapon to fatally shoot Baird and Davies at Baird’s home in Paddington on Monday night.

The bodies have yet to be found, but evidence collected at the crime scene, including bloodstained clothes discovered near a skip-bin in Cronulla, and a projectile matched to a NSW Police firearm, have led investigators to pursue charges against Lemarre.

Beau Lemarre, 28, a NSW Police officer and ex-celebrity blogger

A white van believed to be connected to the disappearance was located on Friday morning, prompting authorities to intensify their search efforts.

However, the whereabouts of Baird and Davies remain unknown.

The couple’s disappearance has sent shockwaves through the community, with friends expressing concern for their safety.

According to reports, Baird had previously voiced fears of being stalked, adding a layer of complexity to the investigation.

Police are searching for a white van (pictured) they believe was being driven by Mr Lamarre. It was captured on CCTV (pictured) driving past the couple in Paddington on Monday night

Major crime scene

Police sealed off a street in Lambton, Newcastle, located 165km away from the Paddington crime scene, on Friday after a white van matching the description of the one being sought was spotted in Karoola Road near Lambton Pool.

Local residents reported a heavy police presence in the area, with streets cordoned off and officers conducting door-to-door inquiries.

“There’s cops everywhere, walking the streets, door knocking,” said one resident.

“Got the road closed past the pool,” they added.

Another resident mentioned, “The park is taped off with police tape up near the bowling club and lots of police are walking the park at the moment.”

It is suspected that Beau Lamarre-Condon, the individual charged in connection with the disappearance, may have driven the van, registered as CW82PM, to a residence in the Newcastle suburb where it was sighted around 10pm the previous night. However, by 2am, the van had vanished again.

Prior to becoming a police officer, Lamarre-Condon was a celebrity blogger

These significant developments occurred after Lamarre-Condon’s phone showed signs of activity shortly before his arrest.

He had evaded authorities following the launch of a manhunt for the missing couple, after it was revealed that he was Jesse Baird’s ex-boyfriend.

Prior to his tenure with the NSW Police, Lamarre-Condon was known as a celebrity blogger, famous for capturing selfies with prominent figures such as Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.

His entry into law enforcement in 2019 was not without controversy, as he garnered attention for tasering a man in the face during an arrest, which was captured on camera.

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Generative AI is threatening to kill off original music

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From original sounds to entire songs, generative AI is sparking debates on the future of the music industry.

Generative artificial intelligence can already produce original sounds, lyrics, and entire songs on its own.

So, as the new technology continues to develop, will AI mean the death of original music, or herald a new era of creativity?

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