This is a bit long winded, but please read it, it might save you from being hacked!
As I was getting the info together for this newsletter, I received an email from Sophie Lizra, telling me about #Team Butterfly Knitting. They wanted knitters to make butterflies for a Children's cancer charity. I am often sent things like this and I am always careful. Rather than open the email, I decided to check out the website, I still didn't click on anything, but typed the web address into the browser. Well, all hell let loose! Warnings were flashing, there was a monotonous voice telling me my computer had been frozen as somebody was trying to access my personal details. I couldn't do anything, I had no control of the mouse. The message appeared to be from Microsoft and it gave a number to ring. I rang it and it sounded like it connected to a call centre in India. The chap asked how he could help and told me he would have to take control of my laptop in order to get rid of the problem. I asked him how I could be sure that he was legit and not part of a scam. His reply was that hackers don't sit around waiting for people to call them! I was not convinced and said I would call back once I had checked that the number did indeed belong to Microsoft. All the time the warning was flashing on the screen and the voice was telling me not to turn anything off and to the call the helpline number. I tried hard not to panic. I looked up 'Microsoft help' on my iPad, but could only find links to places selling protection, not to anywhere that would deal with the problem! So I did what any self respecting adult would do, and shouted up the stairs for my daughter to come and help me! She is much quicker at googling things than I am and found some information on how to unlock the screen, delete the spyware and run a scan to make sure any dangerous files were removed. I have reported it to Microsoft. I do have firewall protection and extra for my bank accounts. As far as I am aware, it has all been corrected. It was a close shave! Thank goodness I acted on my instincts and didn't do what the guy on the so called helpline told me to do. So please be careful! You wouldn't think knitters would be targeted, but these people have no boundaries and anyone is fair game in their eyes!
If, after reading that, you would still like to do some Charity Knitting, the UK Hand Knitting Association has recently redone it's website and there is lots of information about Charities and what they would like to receive.