The Government has issued advice and guidance on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cybercrime. With all of the coronavirus support currently on offer to businesses, fraudsters are trying to exploit the uncertainty.
The guidance suggests protecting yourself by:
- Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
- Consider if it could be fake. It is ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests – only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
- The police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account. They will also never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN.
- No government department or business will ever request payment through bitcoin or vouchers for apple/amazon/etc.
- Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.
- Confirm requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly.
- Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
- To keep yourself secure online, ensure you are using the latest software, apps and operating systems on your phones, tablets and laptops. Update these regularly or set your devices to automatically update so you do not have to worry.
- Visit Take Five for more advice on how to protect yourself from fraud and Cyber Aware for advice on how to keep yourself secure online – https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/
How to protect your business
The guidance suggests:
- If you receive a request to make an urgent payment, change supplier bank details, or provide financial information, take a moment to stop and think.
- It could be a fake. Verify all payments and supplier details directly with the company on a known phone number or in person first.
- Contact your business’s bank immediately if you think you have been scammed and report it to Action Fraud.
National Cyber Security Centre
The National Cyber Security Centre also has advice on how to keep your business secure online: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/
- Self-employed and sole traders: advice to protect your business and the technology you rely on
- Small and medium-sized organisations: advice for businesses, charities, clubs and schools with up to 250 employees – you are likely to fall into this category if you do not have a dedicated team internally to manage your cybersecurity
- Large organisations: security advice for businesses, charities and critical national infrastructure with more than 250 employees – you are likely to have a dedicated team managing your cybersecurity.
See the official government page for more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-fraud-and-cyber-crime/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-on-how-to-protect-yourself-and-your-business-from-fraud-and-cyber-crime
April 29th, 2020