Author Gary Hibberd
Following ‘Black Friday’ when shoppers brave the high streets in search of bargains, we now have ‘Cyber Monday’. Today online retailers will see a surge in activity as prices are slashed and deals are the order of the day!
But wait… it’s not all good news.
Tesco’s Black (hat) Friday
This weekend a 28 year-old-man from Middlesborough, UK was arrested following an attempt to hack into Tesco’s systems, using passwords and account details obtained during previous hacking events. Thankfully Tesco’s own security team became quickly aware of the attempt and informed the Police who were able to determine who was behind the attempt. This is both an encouraging and worrying story;
Encouraging because Tesco’s team were able to foil the attempt and did the right thing by informing the Police. But worrying because the attacker used ‘passwords and account details obtained during previous hacking events’. “Previous” events?!
Cyber Monday – £3bn spending spree
Final figures are not in yet but Black Friday is thought to have netted £1bn for the UK high street economy. But ‘Cyber Monday’ is going to smash this number as UK shoppers are set to spend £3bn online.
Top Tips for a Cyber Happy Christmas
Like the miser of Dicken’s novel, ‘Scrooge’, Cyber criminals are rubbing their hands together and greedily watching as we go about our online shopping. The criminals know that we are on the hunt for bargains and that we are cash rich, but time poor so we are less likely to check our bank accounts for strange transactions. So what can we do? Follow these tips to be cyber-savy and you’ll have a happier Christmas without the ‘Grinch’ stealing your Christmas money (and Christmas cheer).
- Don’t believe everything you read – If you get an email from a site offering to sell you bargain items at crazy low prices it could be trap (“55’’ TV’s for just £250” anyone?). As the saying goes If it seems to be good to be true; it probably is.
- Check the site is secure – Before entering your personal details, like bank account information look for the ‘closed padlock’ on your web browser and make sure the site begins with ‘https’.
- Computer Housekeeping – Make sure your PC is up to date with the latest Anti-Virus software and Security settings are enabled.
- Check your accounts – Cyber criminals hope you’re too busy to check your bank accounts. Don’t fall into the trap. Check your bank account regularly and if you spot any strange transactions – report it.
- Change Passwords – I know you’ve heard this one before, but don’t use the same password for EVERYTHING! Having the same password is like having one key for your car, house, office etc.
- Don’t click or respond– A common practice at this time of year is for a scammer to email you an attachment with something like “Your order is being processed. Please see attached the £699 order you have made”. Your immediate reaction is to cry “WHAT?!” and then click on the file to open it. At that point your PC may be infected with a virus and your Christmas is going to become a lot more expensive.
Christmas can be an expensive time. We all want to buy nice things for our loved ones and criminals (cyber and traditional) are aware of this. Don’t give them what they want this year – give them a tough time and keep the ‘gift giving’ to those huddled around your tree, not those huddled around a computer.
Agenci Information Security is responsible for protecting businesses from cyber threats, cyber-attack, internal threats and business outages. Agenci Information Security ensures clients systems are secure and provide peace of mind through a range of proven specialist information security solutions.
If you’d like to discuss Crisis Management, Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery then please contact Gary please click here, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also call him on 0845 4133 666