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Cybercrime: the minimum precautions we should be taking as individuals

31 Aug 2017

The UK economy lost nearly £11bn last year thanks to cybercrime (source: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/fraud-and-cybercrime-cost-UK-nearly-11bn-in-past-year-oct16) and now with one in two crimes now either relating to fraud or cybercrime, it is high time we adopted a zero tolerance attitude – both at work and at home.

According to Action Fraud, 25% of the UK public said they have a limited understanding of the risks they face when going online and of those who had been a victim of cybercrime, 38% said the matter was too trivial to report.

It appears as though we are not taking even very basic steps to protect ourselves online. Action Fraud found 43% of people in the UK use the same password for multiple online accounts. 23% said they never updated their privacy settings on social media and 29% do not back up their documents (source: as before).

This really highlights a need for every person to be taking their online security seriously as just one attack can have substantial consequences.

Here are a few safeguarding tips from us.

Protect your PIN

Remember that no one will ever contact you asking for your PIN or internet banking passwords – not even the banks themselves.  Most frauds start with phishing emails – bogus messages that contain links that can give fraudsters access to your computer. Reports of phishing emails accounted for 95,556 cases in 2014/2015 (source: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/action-fraud-reveals-that-it-receives-8000-reports-of-phishing-scams-every-month-mar16) and 23% of people receiving such messages have admitted to opening them (source as before). If you receive an unsolicited email from your bank, asking for your account details, password information or PIN, do not respond or click any links contained within it.

Who’s there?

Treat every call, email or any message as a knock at the door. If you are approached with something that is too good to be true – it probably is.  Always question it, even if it appears to be communication from a company or person that you know, carry out your own checks by calling a number that you know is correct and asking for verification. A legitimate company will not mind you checking and will be happy to answer your questions.

Begins at home

Responsibilities start and end with us as individuals. If  we are not treating our own personal data with respect, we are inviting criminals to do the same. Make sure you are shredding any confidential information to do with your bank accounts, credit cards and other sensitive information. Identity fraudsters do not need much information in order to claim your identity.

If you have been the victim of cybercrime, or you would like would like any further information about ways to protect yourself against fraud, contact DMH Stallard who will be able to help.

 

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