Have a safe cyber festive season

Stop Challenge Protect

The 30th November every year since 1988 is “National Computer Security Day” (https://nationaltoday.com/national-computer-security-day/) – it is a reminder of a dangers in our digital world.

All our minds this year have been on Coronavirus and recently the flu virus. Most of us have probably had the coronavirus and flu vaccinations.

Have you given thought to what viruses or malware might be affecting your email, website, social media, computer or phone – Windows or Apple or Android are all vulnerable!  What action have you taken to vaccinate yourself against scammers?

The festive season is a time when hackers ramp up their activities distributing their unwelcome gifts across many digital routes.

Example scams

Example scams could be ….

– emails loaded with malware
– phishing emails designed to help you give aware critical information
– shopping scams – fake products/fake sites where you pay your money and never get the product
– fake profiles on social media – connected to 100’s of people giving them credibility
– fake dating profiles as Xmas and New year are the peak time when people sign up to dating sites
– fake WhatsApp messages
– fake ‘Friend in need’ messages – “I need money urgently”
– fake charity appeals
– lottery fraud – Between April and October 2021, Action Fraud received 629 reports of lottery fraud
– forced login attempts on website admin access so they can compromise the website with malware

Remember – if it is too good to be true – it is!!

GoDaddy breach

GoDaddy is the largest website hosting company in the world. Between 6th Sept and 6th Nov 2021 email and customer details for 1.2 million customer details on their Managed WordPress service were compromised – giving the hackers 1.2 million email addresses to attack with phishing emails! GoDaddy didn’t discover the hack until 17th Nov 2021*.
If it can happen to the biggest it can happen to you!

Take Five – “Stop Challenge Protect”

“Take Five” is a national campaign that offers straightforward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Take Five urges you to stop and consider whether the situation is genuine – to stop and think if what you’re being told really makes sense.

Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.

Friends Against Scams

Become a “Friend Against Scams” (https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/), a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams. Join a 45-minute Friends Against Scams awareness sessions are run by SCAMchampions – https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/become-a-friend

Action Fraud reporting

Report all scams and fraud via Action Fraud – https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ – it is recorded, and information collated to identify patterns and sources of scams. This has resulted in many prosecutions and criminal scams being stopped.

Have a safe cyber festive season

The best Xmas present you can give anyone, especially elderly, lonely and emotionally vulnerability people is a safe cyber festive season!

Peter Gaskin
Team Discovery Digital
A friend against scams
We are a Digital Marketing Agency providing website development, hosting, search engine optimisation, content marketing and cyber security.

• GoDaddy disclosure notice – https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1609711/000160971121000122/gddyblogpostnov222021.htm

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