PCEC given Thai Immigration update and how to protect your cyber device

MC Les Edmonds presents the PCEC’s Certificate of Appreciation for Darren’s interesting and informative talk.

The Pattaya City Expats Club resumed their weekly meetings on Wednesday, 3 March, after the 2nd COVID-19 outbreak forced a cessation of meetings. There were two main speakers, Darren McGarry providing an update on Thai Immigration matters, and Bud Dooley offering Cyber Security Tips.

First up was Darren McGarry from Key Visa Company. Darren is a British Expat with over 18 years of experience as a visa consultant in Thailand. He is the driving force behind his company, Key Visa. Darren summarized current practices at the Chonburi (Pattaya) Immigration Office.

He mentioned that those renewing their retirement extensions based on having 800,000 baht in a Thai bank at their previous extension will need to show they kept the 800,000 on deposit for the required number of months and never let it fall below 400,000 during the rest of the year.

Bud Dooley showed this slide at the beginning of his presentation to introduce his audience to his subject about how to protect your device by using a User Account that does not have administrative authority.

Due to a recent change in the documentary requirements for those who have their foreign spouse “piggyback” on their retirement extension, it takes more time to obtain the necessary certifications of the Marriage License, which now must have your embassy or home country government certify as to its validity. He used a marriage license from the UK as an example, noting it must be certified by the Naturalization Office, who then sends it to the Thai Embassy for their stamp. This can take a few weeks. Plan sufficient time before the renewal date for your extension of stay.

Darren also mentioned that you should not confuse the 90-day address reporting date with the extension of stay date. Some folks have gone into “overstay” because they thought the next 90-day address reporting date shown on the Reporting Receipt also extended their stay to that date. Not so! He wanted everyone to be aware that they are two separate things. One needs to check the extension date that Immigration stamped in your passport.

PCEC Chairman Les Edmonds welcomes back members and guests to the first meeting of the Club in 2021 since meetings were suspended after the COVID-19 outbreak in December 2020.

Bud Dooley was next up with his advice on how to protect yourself when using cyber devices such as smartphone, computer, or tablet. Bud has 30 years’ experience designing, managing & securing state-of-the-art information technology infrastructures.

His presentation was about how to protect yourself by not using your device’s User Admin Account for everyday use, including access to the Internet. He said you need to be aware of the difference between a User Admin Account and a User Account. Bud noted that when first setting up your device you will set up a User Admin Account with a unique password. This “administrative” account has the authority to make changes to the device including downloading apps.

Darren McGarry from Key Visa gives PCEC members and guests an update on the latest happenings at Thai Immigration.

Bud said that you should not use this account except when you want to download apps or make changes to your device. He strongly suggested that you set up a “User Account” with restrictions that does not provide “Admin” authority over the device. In setting up the User Account with its own unique password, you can restrict what authority that account has, such as only accessing existing apps and connecting to the internet. To set up the User Account, you will need to log in to your User Admin Account. After setting it up, log out from the User Admin account and use the newly created User Account for everyday use and connecting with the Internet.

Bud then explained how a hacker could gain access when you are connected to the Internet. If you are using your User Admin Account and get hacked, the hacker can gain complete authority over your device and can download harmful apps such as a key logger, which records your keystrokes and which allows recording of passwords to your sensitive websites like online banking. If you are logged in using a User Account with restricted authority, then a hacker, if successful, cannot download harmful apps or make other changes to your device.

PCEC member Bud Dooley provides a tip on how to protect your cyber devices from being damaged by hackers. He suggests doing your day-to-day activities with a “User Account” that does not have Administrative authority for your device.

After the presentations, MC Les Edmonds brought everyone up to date on the latest events. This was followed by the Open Forum, where attendees can make comments or ask questions about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

For more information, visit the PCEC’s website at https://pcec.club/.

To view a video of Bud’s presentation, visit: Bud Dooley’s Tech Tips: https://youtu.be/Q7x7dIubmI0.