Aug 10, 2016

It’s a bit phishy!

We live in a digital age where increasingly businesses and individuals are relying on electronic connectivity, exposing them to increased threat and risks.  Ensuring that steps are taken to maintain digital security is vital for protecting against cybercrime.

Spam, Phishing, Money mules . . . we’re not talking about a trip to the seaside here, we’re talking about the huge variety of tricks and techniques criminals use to obtain information.  These methods of deception can convince the savviest of us, therefore it is important to remain vigilant at all times.  Here are some quick tips to help you out:

  1. Keep it personal – do not share your details with companies or individuals without checking their validity first
  2. Banks don’t ask – remember that the bank will never ask you to confirm your details by clicking on a link within an email.  If you believe it to be genuine, call the bank using details from genuine correspondence or, better still, pop into a branch and speak with an advisor
  3. Shred it – criminals are not particular about how much information they have about you, just your name and address is a great starting point for identity theft to begin. Shred any post, especially bank statements and receipts with card details on
  4. Be a step ahead – sign up with a credit reference agency such as Experian, Equifax, Callcredit or Noddle and keep up to date with activity on your accounts
  5. Be software savvy – ensure that your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software installed, including an active firewall

Businesses rely more and more on computer systems to connect with their clients and customers worldwide, however this has opened up the floodgates for attack.  LinkedIn, TalkTalk, Sony and Ebay are to name but a few of the big players that have fallen victim to cyber-crime.  All this talk of attack often sets your heartbeat racing and your mind thinking “Have I been hacked without knowing? Guess I shouldn’t keep the same password for all my accounts”.

Fear not, there is a way you can find out if any of your personal accounts have been compromised by visiting https://haveibeenpwned.com/   This website allows you to perform a search of your account username or email addresses and returns a result which notifies you of any breach . . . hopefully, the result is zero! If not, then you know you need to take action and finally, change your password to something less predictable!

The financial impact of cyber fraud is huge, with an academic report estimating it to cost the UK an eye-watering £193bn per year!  Online banking fraud accounts for £133.5 million of that figure, making it imperative for companies to employ a number of different ways for protection.  Maintaining the integrity of our customers’ data  is central to what we do.  At SmartDebit we don’t use just one method to keep your data safe, but four!  As a Bacs approved Bureau, not only can we effectively manage your Direct Debits, we can also provide accredited training for your staff.  As the famous saying goes, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today” . Call our friendly team for a chat about how we can help you.

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