I had a strange episode yesterday, which taught me that hackers can phone you to hack into your computer. My computer knowledge is not vast and I was very surprised.
I answered a phone call from a man with a very heavy Indian accent who told me he was calling from Windows technical office to say that my licence to operate Windows was about to expire and I needed to update it. Even my limited knowledge told me this was most unlikely so I told him he had a heavy foreign accent and must be a scammer. However I would take my computer to my dealer and get them to check it. He was very angry and I hung up on him.
To my surprise he rang me back again a while later, even angrier saying that it was not about my dealer and he would tell me what I needed to do. I hung up on him again and rang my computer shop. I have had a good relationship with them for some years now and have bought all three of my laptops from them in my serial monogamous relationship with computers. I am very needy when learning a new computer and ring or visit them until I have it worked out how to function viably on it. My last computer purchase was only six weeks ago and I had them install the various programmes on it, including licences and security where required. As they have always done their job well, I was very sure that no licences would be outstanding. I also really did not believe Windows would be calling me, and it seemed a very ignorant statement to make.
The technician I spoke to at the shop was most emphatic. My caller was a hacker and I should hang up immediately if he rang again as he could could hack into my computer if it was switched on while we were talking on the phone. Fortunately it was not switched on at that time. She also pointed out that I should not do anything that he told me to do as that would help him to hack into my computer. She checked their technical department records to see what they had installed on my computer and said I was completely up to date. That was good, but I was sure that would be the case.
I was astounded that a phone call could be used to hack into my computer, and am posting this note in case other people following this blog just have my level of expertise with computers.