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It's Nearly Time To Take Your Tablets!

- Not quite what the nurse told me last Friday when I went to get my first Covid-19 vaccination down at Alnwick Cricket Club, but a few paracetamol certainly came in handy for the following 36 hours......but I digress.

The 'Tablets' in this case refer to the Amazon 8" Fire HD's we obtained thanks to part of our successful Community funding bid from The National Lottery Fund.

The blue Fire 8 HD complete with protective case.

I am currently going through the process of setting them all up in a similar simplified way, to help get you where you have ready access to the Choir website and resources. As Amazon, being what it is, will try and use the opportunity to try and distract you in an attempt to get you to sign up to extras. We have decided that to keep operation as simple as possible we have decided not to install an AntiVirus app, (see lower down for more information).

As part of the set up process, I will be having a telephone conversation with everyone who is to be having one on loan to see if they have an existing Amazon account and password, along with ready access to their email account, as they will need to receive and pass on a One Time Password (OTP) that I will need to set up each device. Some of you have already had that conversation with me - thank you for your patience. I hope to be in touch with all of you in the next few days.

Mary is currently in the process of delivering the first batch, which will come with an 'Instruction For New Users' crib sheet kindly drawn up by my wife Lesley with her 'Management Training' hat on. On the back of each tablet is an ID/password to identify who the tablet 'belongs to'. (More important when we are all back singing together again, to avoid confusion and know who's is who's).

Mary will ask you to read through a short and simple loan agreement requesting you take care of the tablet and that you are made aware that it remains the property of Harbour Lights Choir, and it is covered under our new Choir Insurance Policy. You will also be given a protective case (which have been supplied using Choir funds) to help protect and hold the tablet.

Are Fire tablets immune from viruses?

Technically, no. But cybercriminals tend to put most effort into writing malware (malicious software) for Windows because it runs on hundreds of millions of computers and laptops. By contrast, the number of Amazon Fire tablets is very small, so there’s little incentive to target those users.

Plus, as long as you install apps from Amazon’s Appstore and not from anywhere else, it’s highly unlikely any virus-ridden apps can get onto your tablet.

Even if they do, they don’t have free rein to access other files on the tablet or hardware such as the camera and microphone. When you install an app, it has to ask permission for any of these things, so don’t grant it if you’re not happy or don’t entirely trust the app.

Finally, Fire tablets automatically update so you'll always have the latest version of the software which should be the most secure.

Why do I need to be careful then?

One way that criminals can target anyone on the internet, regardless of the device they’re using is social engineering. Put simply, it means they’ll try to trick you into handing over your details without realising.

A fairly well-known technique is the ‘phishing’ email, which will contain a message that persuades you to give information – maybe your bank details – in order to get something in return. It could be a refund, a tax rebate or even the classic “I’ve been left millions of pounds and I want to give it to you” scam.

It may even purport to be an email from Amazon. Around a year ago, fake emails were sent out which said there was a problem with a recent order, and attempted to coax users to enter their bank details.

There are plenty of other scams, but you just need to exercise caution when shopping online or checking emails. Don’t click on links unless you’re sure they’re genuine.

Sometimes a link in an email will look fine, but it will take you to a non-genuine website which could be a clone of your bank’s website. This is why it’s best to open a web browser and type in the address yourself, then check that the site has the appropriate padlock symbol near the address bar to tell you the connection is secure.

Hope this has whetted the appetites for members who have asked to trial one of our new additions to our Choir resources.

Paul Stocks, Webmaster



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