With a number of Wealden Business Group members freely confessing to be less than IT savvy, a recent presentation by Jacqui Offen, a director of Herne Bay-based JJ Systems, had a salutary effect.
Jacqui explained the plethora of risks to everyone’s computer, from ‘phishing expeditions’ – unsolicited emails inviting you to click on links which render your system vulnerable to attack – to the ultimate horror: Ransomware.
This is where a cyber-intruder invades and locks your system, and demands money to release your data – more than 4,000 Ransomware attacks were reported to the police last year, and victims were forced to pay out more than £4.5 million.
However, Jacqui offered a checklist of common sense advice which can help protect your system from cybercrime – which included…..
- Ensure your security systems are fully up-to-date
- Install a quality anti-virus and anti-spam product.
- Always back up your data, and keep a copy off-site.
- Don’t open files or documents in an email you don’t recognise.
- Don’t believe a caller claiming to be from Microsoft who has identified a problem on your computer. Microsoft will never phone you.
- If you receive an invoice in an email, check with your co-bank account signatory to ensure it is legitimate.
- If you receive an unexpected email request to make a payment, which has apparently been sent by a co-director or manager, call them to check before you make the payment.
- If you receive an unexpected invoice you don’t recognise, contact the sender by phone.
- Before leaving work, re-start your computer. This will allow automatic updates to download overnight.
- Have a unique password for online banking.
- …..and avoid obvious passwords, such as password, qwerty, 1234 and 1966 (when England won the World Cup!)
For further information on protecting yourself from cybercrime, contact Jacqui Offen at JJ Systems, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 01227 371377.
You can read Jacqui’s Blog on caring about cybercrime here; http://www.jjsystems.co.uk/Why-should-I-care-about-Cybercrime.html