Monthly Archives: December 2012

Phone scam – hang up!

Even if you have already registered your telephone number with the National Do Not Call List, you still may be pestered by unscrupulous telemarketers.  One such call would be the “There Is Something Wrong With Your Computer” scam, or the “Your Computer Has A Virus” scheme.

Please do not fall for these tricks!

You can rest assured that reputable companies such as Microsoft and Apple will NEVER call your house to tell you that there is something wrong with your computer! When such fixes are required to your computer’s software, the updates are sent via official channels, and not by way of unsolicited telephone calls.

There are many variations to this “scam”, with the end result always being that someone is trying to trick you into parting with your hard-earned money. For example, someone may call and tell you that they wish to perform “maintenance” or “virus removal” on your computer. We have all heard about the plague of the “computer virus” (which is a legitimate concern in its own right); however these scam artists know how to play on our fears of what a computer virus may do, and try their level best to scare you into buying into their bogus schemes.

Do not give any form of personal information (name, address, E-mail address, credit card number, social insurance number, etc.) to someone who phones you unsolicited, and NEVER relinquish control of your computer to one of these con artists. If you give a stranger control of your computer or simply download their “software”, you are most likely letting yourself in for lots of grief. Most of the time, the intention is to install some form of Malware on your computer, to suit the needs of these criminals, not yours.

Malicious software introduced by these telephone scams possibly lets a stranger do the following over your internet connection:

  • Access all information and documents stored on your computer
  • Track your typing so that they can log all your passwords, credit card numbers, or anything else you type
  • Monitor your purchases, your email, your web browsing
  • Control your computer without your knowledge, using it to send viruses out to everyone on your email contacts list
  • Lock you out of your computer and damage or erase its contents

I do not mean to scare you with this information, but rather, just keep you alert, so that you can enjoy your computer experience instead of innocently being a victim of telephone/computer fraud. My best advice is to politely “hang up” on these criminals!

Here is a helpful link to the Halton Regional Police website, for more information about frauds and scams.

– David Spearns (ETAG Volunteer Technology Tutor)

Best volunteers ever!

Looking back on this past year, it’s hard to believe how much we have accomplished as an organization. With such a committed team, we have significantly grown our Volunteer Technology Assistance Program (VTAP), making it available 3 times a week in 5 locations across the Peel and Halton regions. VTAP alone has generated over 5500 client visits this year (not including December). Additionally, we have developed our Lifelong Learning Workshop program, allowing us to reach out to hundreds of adults 55+ in the GTA .  It is without question that this has been made possible by the contributions and support of our AMAZING volunteer technology tutors.

Chris and I are both truly grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a diverse and outstanding group of individuals. We are always humbled by the amount of generosity and care that is continuously displayed by all of our volunteers. We consider you essential members of ETAG’s team. For all that and more, Thank You!

As we move into 2013, I have no doubt that we will continue to grow. We are always looking for ways to better ourselves and the programs we offer.My goal is to not only educate our older adult clients but to provide each of  our volunteers an opportunity to acquire new skills in the process. I am always looking for more input and feedback. Please don’t hesitate to share your idea’s and thoughts with me.

Once again, I would like to thank our volunteer technology tutors for an amazing year.

Happy Holiday’s and a prosperous New Year!

– Phil Shahinian

Home Run Workshop

ETAG’s Lifelong Learning Workshop November 28th at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre was a success! SO MUCH FUN!!!

There was an amazing group of participants full of energy and excitement about the new technologies out there. ETAG’s knowledgeable group of volunteer technology tutors helped answer many questions about different technologies, like iPads and Android tablets, Kobo e-reader, Windows 8, Facebook, and the revolutionary gadget, Square!

Having some fun.

We also helped some participants connect with a helpful brand, Doro, who specializes in creating telephone technologies specifically for an aging population. Check out Doro’scell phone, the PhoneEasy 612 available only through Rogers, and their home phone called MemoryPlus 319, available only through the CNIB.

ETAG is excited to have MANY MORE Lifelong Learning Workshops about technology in the new year. Check back soon for more details.

REMEMBER… ETAG never presents the same workshop twice in a community, so please attend all of our workshops and bring your friends! There is always something new about technology to learn 🙂

– Chris Bint

Boomers “like” Facebook

Baby Boomers at ETAG are embracing Facebook at an increasing rate. A recent article in the Huffington Post outlines a study conducted for the Canadian Press that reveals a 10% increase in the use of social media since 2011 by the baby boomer generations. Foster Research recently released a report entitled Digital Seniors, which documented that 49% of seniors in the United States use Facebook.

More and more, volunteers are getting questions from our adult (55+) participants about Facebook at ETAG’s Volunteer Technology Assistance Program. It’s an exciting time because ETAG’s participants are starting to recognize the importance of social media  to connect with long lost family, old friends, and colleagues from their past careers. Facebook has become a medium that allows information, like pictures, do-it-yourself projects and recipe ideas, to name just a few, to be shared between users, which creates amazing opportunities to stay connected with one another.

One of ETAG’s participants, Rupert, attended ETAG’s free program to get assistance with his Facebook account. He was pleasantly surprised to find photo’s of his old neighbour’s child, who he had not seen in over two years! “It’s great to be able to stay in touch with my neighbour through Facebook,” he said when asked how he likes using Facebook. ETAG can help any adult (55+) learn how to do it, in a simple way that makes sense to everyone, regardless of how little experience they have.

– Simone Carpio (ETAG Lead Volunteer)