Protecting Your Business Against Online Scams

Protecting Your Business Against Online Scams

When running any business or organisation, it’s incredibly important to be aware of the online scams that can cause damage to your business’ IT systems. These can be inadvertently stumbled upon by unknowingly visiting a dodgy website, opening an attachment in an email that contains malware or ransomware or even simply answering the phone!

EMAIL

These emails are usually made to look like they are from companies that you recognise and have no doubt dealt with at some point, such as DHL, UPS, Microsoft and BT. Most of us are guilty of not actually reading the contents of the email properly and just go straight for opening the attachment, and before you know it, you have an infected pc or laptop. A slightly different scam is where you get an email or phone call claiming to be from your bank asking for your details. Your bank will NEVER do this!

TELEPHONE

This is when scammers ring you on the phone claiming to be from the likes of Microsoft, BT or TalkTalk. They may also use more generic names such as ‘Windows Technical department.’ These people will try and get you to unwittingly give them access to your computer while making out they are fixing some kind of fault, that of course, you were unaware you had, and doesn’t actually exist.

INTERNET

Visiting websites with illegal content or inappropriate adult material is another sure-fire way to inadvertently end up with a virus on your computer. Another easy mistake that people often make, is clicking on ads that make offers that are far too good to be true, such as 90% off a certain product or offering things for free. The saying that ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’ is excellent advice here!

Statistics show who is most likely to become a victim, and the costs of these scams;

  • The average age of a victim is 59.
  • 91% were White (English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, British).
  • 53% were female.
  • The average reported loss is £210.
  • Law enforcement globally has received complaints from victims in the U.S and in at least 79 countries.
  • From October 2013 through February 2016, law enforcement received reports from 17,642 victims.
  • This amounted to more than 2.3 billion in losses.
  • Since January 2015, there has been a 270 percent increase in identified victims and exposed loss.

So what can be done to minimise the risk of your business becoming a victim? Have policies in place to prevent access to websites with illegal activity or pirated software as malware is common on these sites. Also, take care when using emails, look closely at the content and double check with the sender if you are suspicious.

Using internet security is an absolute must for any business. These programs can block ransomware before it fully infects your computer, so make sure they kept updated to prevent any security breaches! Finally, performing daily backups and making sure your recovery program works will ensure if the worst does happen, you can rely on your backed up files.

If you would like any more help or advice about keeping your business safe, please contact NewGen IT on 01933 426129 or email us at info@newgen-it.co.uk

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