Deacon's Series
Keeping Yourself Safe In A Hi-Tech World

Colbert Presbyterian Church

4211 E. Colbert Rd.
Colbert, WA 99005

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When talking with flock members we have heard a need for more information about staying safe with technology. As your deacons, we have come together to write a series which we will feature in The Vine with additional information available online or in the narthex by the Care Giving Ministries bulletin board. Some of the topics that we will be focusing on include: phone scams, passwords, and sharing your information online.

October's topic is, Topic #3: Telephone Scams

Telephone scammers try to steal your money or personal information through phone call: from real people, robocalls, or text message The callers often make false promises, such as opportunities to buy products, invest your money, or receive free product trials. They may also offer you money through free grants and lotteries. Some scammers may call with threats of jail or lawsuits if you don't pay them. It is important to report telephone scams to federal agencies such as:
The Federal Trade Commission
 1-877- 382-4357
Do Not Call Registry
Federal Communications Commission

To protect yourself from telephone scams:

♦   Hang up on suspicious phone calls. Be wary of callers claiming you've won something.
♦   Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry.
♦   Be cautious of Caller ID. Scammers can change the phone number that shows up on your ID screen. This is called spoofing.

♦   Don't give into pressure to take immediate action.
♦   Don't say anything if the caller asks, "Can you hear me?" Scammers record your "yes" response and use it as proof that you authorized use of your credit card.
♦   Don't provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information.Don't send or wire money
♦  Don't send or wire money


September's topic is, Topic #2:FACT CHECKING

Be aware that anyone can post information online. When you read something on the internet or social media, there is no guarantee it is true. If a piece of information is repeated often enough, it will eventually be believed even if there is no evidence to support it. Everyone is susceptible! Be on guard as often truths and half-truths are blended to convince a reader that what they are reading is factual. For example:
~Gummi bears are made with car wax. (partially true)
~Posting a legal notice on your Facebook wall will protect you from having all of your Facebook posts and photos made public, (false)
~Costco pharmacy has the least expensive prices and no membership requirement, (partially true)

There are several websites you can go to that are trusted and reliable in helping you discern fact from fiction and misinformation. For general fact checking there is and For political statements you could go to As with phishing, which we covered in last month's publication, if you read something that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be skeptical and use your fact checking resources

 August's topic is, Phishing Attacks

Phishing is an attempt to steal your personal information including passwords and credit card numbers. Phishing occurs when an attacker appears to be a trusted entity and tricks a victim into opening an email or text message or creates a link that is clicked on.
They will go to great lengths designing the phishing messages to appear to be an actual email from a legitimate organization using the same phrasing, fonts, and logos to make the message appear legitimate. When opening these emails or clicking on the link, it gives them access into your computer or device which can steal your sensitive password information including credit card numbers and banking information.

How to Prevent Phishing?

For users, vigilance is key. Question all emails you receive before opening. You should stop and think about why you are receiving that email. You may choose not to open that email or text message, or delete it completely, if it seems suspicious to you.

If you are concerned that it might be a legitimate message, you could contact the person or company yourself using a phone number or an email address you know is correct (one that was not included in the suspicious message).


Click here to see a document
 with technical and more information.