Russell Scanlan Backs Get Safe Online Campaign
Businesses and individuals are being urged to get to grips with online security as part of the latest Government supported national campaign, Get Safe Online, which takes place this month (October 2014).
Backed by numerous companies, including local insurance broking and risk managing firm Russell Scanlan, the annual initiative aims to raise awareness of the dangers of cybercriminals and the steps that can be taken against them.
Online crime is one of the fastest growing areas that frausters and criminal gangs are targeting. The latest National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) statistics suggest that in the last year alone, £670m was lost nationwide to the top ten internet-enabled frauds reported.
But whilst over half (51%) the UK population have now experienced cybercrime in some form, only 53% are taking online crimes as seriously as ‘physical world’ crimes. And even fewer (47%) say they’re unaware of who to report an online crime to.
Andy Jenkins, Operations Director at Russell Scanlan, said: “Whilst the internet has revolutionised the way in which we operate as a global society and business community, we cannot ignore the impact it is having in terms of fraud, identity theft and financially motivated crimes.
- Smaller business in particular are especially vulnerable, because they simply don’t have the resources or staff to put measures in place to deal with data loss, privacy breaches and technological vulnerabilities.
- Even more at risk are those firms who fail to develop business continuity plans to counteract an unplanned disaster or emergency, such as a cyber-attack. Around 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster are forced to shut within two years.
- It is absolutely vital that firms across the East Midlands wake up to this fact and take just a few simple and cost effective steps that will mean the difference between a cyber-meltdown and a cyber-crackdown.”
Russell Scanlan has published its own guide to cyber-security in support of the Get Safe Online’ campaign to help firms remain vigilant against online threats. It outlines ten simple ways in which businesses can better protect themselves:
- PINs and Passwords: Never use the same password for different sites. Always use a combination of numbers, letters and characters so your passwords are as strong as possible. Protect all devices with a PIN. Never share your PIN or password details with anyone and change them regularly.
- If in doubt, click out: Although ‘click through’ links are often sent by companies you might be familiar with, fraudsters are using this as a way to ‘phish’ for sensitive data by sending people to fake websites. Never click on a link sent to you by someone you don’t know.
- Saviour Software: Invest in cyber protection and encryption software and regularly install updates. If you’re a business, seek advice from ICT experts to make sure you’re taking the right steps to protect valuable data and company firewalls.
- Layer up the security: Use multi-authentication to access your online banking. Many financial institutions now offer business and personal customers a device which generates a unique numerical code. If you haven’t already got access to this, get on the case.
- Think secure, think padlock: When making an online transaction, make sure the padlock appears in the browser window and check the web address starts with ‘https://’ – the ‘s’ stands for secure.
- Sign out when you sign off: Always log out of accounts when you log off and shut down. Check your security settings on all your online accounts, particularly those of a social media variety.
- Get staff to be savvy: Talk to your employees. Make sure they’re fully aware of the cybercrime threat and understand the risks of clicking on unsolicited emails or links. Emphasise how important it is to look after electronic devices when travelling abroad on business. Capture all this information in a written security policy so there is no uncertainty.
- Beware of changing privacy policies: Certain websites – particularly social media platforms such as LinkedIn – often change their privacy policies, meaning what’s private today isn’t tomorrow. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, and stay on top of your own business and individual profiles so you keep certain information safe from the public domain.
- Report it: Action Fraud is the UK’s national online cyber economic fraud reporting centre and can be contacted on 0300 123 20 40 or www.actionfraud.police.uk .
- Get insured: Consider taking out a specific cybercrime insurance policy to give you that extra peace of mind. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, and if you approach a reputable insurance broking firm like Russell Scanlan for help, they can help to find you the most appropriate deal for your needs that’s on the market.