For many of us the internet has become a means of catching up with friends and family, watching the latest ‘must-see’ series on Netflix, streaming your favourite music or just passing time, and all from the comfort of your own home.
However with this increased dependability and, for many of us, an abundant lack in confidence when online – cyber criminals are taking advantage – and in a big way!
In 2016 cybercrime was the 2nd most reported crime globally, and in proportion to the total number of crimes reported in the UK alone cybercrime now accounts for more than 50%.
The end goal of these crooks is to get their hands on your money and as much of it as possible and they can sure be quite determined and persuasive in trying to get their hands on it!
Below you’ll find a bit more information and our top tips on how to stay one step ahead of the cyber criminals and keep your data and money safe!
A popular way of trying to trick you into providing your login credentials for personal accounts such as your bank, social media, email, PayPal, cloud storage, the list goes on!
You will usually receive an email which will appear to be sent from your bank, HMRC, PayPal or another official source.
The email will more than likely contain a link or document which you will be instructed to open. This will then take you to the scammers website (often branded to look very official and convincing) and ask you to enter your credentials. And bingo – there your details go…..
GREETING CARD SCAMS
Arriving by email and pretending to be from a family member or friend, viewing the card usually leads you again to a fraudulent website and downloads Trojans and other malicious software onto your machine.
Always check the email address that every email has been sent from. If in doubt ring the sender and ask them if they have sent you an email or delete it.
The phone will ring smack bang in the middle of cooking the kids dinner, you’ll answer it and the person on the other end of the phone claims to be calling from Microsoft or BT, they tell you that you have a virus on your computerand they need urgent access to remove it.
So, you follow their instructions and get them connected to your laptop (it didn’t take too long after all!) but as well as access to the laptop they now have access to all of the passwords you use online, including your emails and online banking etc etc. and you go back to feeding the little ones – completely unaware of what is happening.
A legitimate company will NEVER ring you and ask you for access to your machine so should you ever get one of these calls PUT THE PHONE DOWN.
OUR TOP TIPS
- Only allow someone to remotely access your computer if they are from a trusted source, such as your computer support or internet service provider and you have rung them!
- Create complex passwords which are at least 8 characters long and use a random mix of numbers and lower and upper case letters (the longer the password the harder it is to hack!)
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Make sure your antivirus software is up to date and you’ll be protected against the most recent viruses. Our recommended Anti-virus is ESET and is included in most of our Support packages.
- Understand what software you are installing on your computer or phone us and double check you are using a secure site. A secure site will have a web address beginning with https, not http.
- We all know those annoying popups from Microsoft letting us know that there are updates to install. Make sure you update them as they contain the latest security patches and can help protect you.
- Never open a suspicious looking or unknown email or attachment
- A genuine company will never contact you to ask for your log-in details – so never give them out, even to the friendly guy on the phone.
- Before entering payment card details on a website, make sure the link is secure, again look for the https and the padlock icon in your address bar.