Although we would all much rather ignore it, Cybercrime is on the rise at a staggering rate.  According to the cybersecurity firm Norton, £4.6 billion was stolen by hackers from British internet users in 2017.  This does not reflect the hours involved in dealing with the aftermath or the reputational damage it can inflict.  The truth is that it is not just businesses, every household is vulnerable and cyber attack is a form of intrusion that has be taken as seriously as any other crime.

The wherewithal needed by a criminal to launch a credible attack is easily obtained. Classic approaches are to pose as your bank, your children’s school or your internet provider.

Although we have probably read the following advice before it is worth reiterating and applying it at home as well as where we work:

  1. Passwords should be complex, changed regularly, especially when employees leave and extra care should be taken for bank and email accounts.
  2. Anti-virus software is installed on all home devices and you keep your software up to date as soon as the developers make updates available.
  3. Don’t open any attachments you were not expecting.
  4. Keep confidential data out of site. Everyone has a smartphone camera today that can quickly capture private information in your home.
  5. Shred it.
  6. Beware of phishing scams.Unlike common spam, a phishing e-mail is after personal details and disguised to look like a real email.  Key things to look out for:
    • The senders email won’t look right; hover over the sender’s name to reveal the real email address
    • The grammar and English will be poor
    • They will want you to click on a link or open a file
    • Delete any e-mails that are suspicious or call the sender directly
  7. Turn devices like Siri, Amazon Echo and Alexa off. These devices are listening and recording, so it is worth being wary of where the information is going.

We are all on the radar of cyber scammers and as with conventional theft, the opportunist burglar often poses the greatest risk. Cyber insurance needs to become a normal part of your household policy.  At Weatherbys Hamilton we can arrange cover for risks such as hacker damage, cyber theft, social engineering, cyber extortion and financial loss after a successful attack.

Supplied by Clare Bethell at Weatherbys Hamilton