Cyber Aware

Cyber Aware

Content provided by Lesley Anderson 

Last year over £15 million was taken from online shoppers over the Christmas period.

The scale of online fraud has led to the launch of a new campaign, Cyber Aware, now rolling out across the UK. This year, even more people than ever will be buying presents and looking for bargains online – but there are 6 key steps you can take which won’t cost you a penny and may save you thousands of pounds. 

 Exeter businesses can get free support from a new police-led organisation, the South West Cyber Resilience Centre. ‘We’re trying to reach as many businesses, charities, health providers and schools as we possibly can,’ explained Mark Moore, Director and a serving police officer.  ‘We know people find cyber security confusing and they need impartial advice on what they need to do to protect themselves, their data and their people.’ 

 In the meantime, the 6 steps recommended by the National Cyber Security Centre that everyone should take are outlined here. 

  •  1.    Use a strong and separate password for your email 
  • 2.     Create strong passwords using 3 random words 
  • 3.     Save your passwords in your browser 
  • 4.     Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) 
  • 5.     Update your devices and apps 
  • 6.     Back up your data 

 These steps apply just as much to businesses as they do for individuals. Hackers and scammers don’t care whether you’re a multi-million pound law firm or a granny sitting at home looking at knitting patterns. If they can trick you into sharing information with them or con you into parting with cash in a scam, they will.  No business is too small to have essential cyber security measures in place. The number of ransomware attacks on UK firms doubled in 2021, according to GCHQ. It’s very profitable for criminals so we can expect this trend to continue. Losing data or being locked out of your systems could severely impact a small business and could even put them out of business. 

 Action Fraud has lots of good advice and news on their website and that’s where you should report any online fraud, as well as to your bank and credit card providers. They are here: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ 

 If you’re a business, school or charity in the South West, you can join the South West Cyber Resilience Centre for regular information and help with cyber security. Membership is free, and the SWCRC is police-led and home office backed to support organisations. www.swcrc.co.uk 

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