Many small to medium sized businesses know just how devastating cybercrime can be in the workplace. The affects can often lead to complete closure of a business following an attack. However, not only is it an issue at work but increasingly it is starting to affect more and more of us personally under the guise of identity fraud.
According to a recent report by the BBC, identity fraud has reached record levels. End of year figures for 2016 show there were 172,919 reports of this. Worryingly almost 25,000 victims were aged 30 years or under 30 years. Also, this might just be the tip of the iceberg since these figures only reflect recorded fraud that has been reported.
With 9 out of 10 identity frauds committed online there is an urgency to make it more difficult for these criminals. The vast majority of these crimes occur when someone is pretending to be someone they are not, which then allows them to buy a product or even take out a loan using your personal details.
How do they get hold of your personal data?
There are a number of ways including:
- Computer hacking
- Obtaining data via the dark web
- Exploiting personal data via social media
- Stealing your post
- Social engineering – people give their personal data to someone pretending to be from their bank, the police or a retailer
How do you protect yourself from identity fraud?
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to protect yourself. Incorporate these technics to ensure you are not an easy target:
- Use password, privacy settings and anti-virus software on your computers
- Update your computer’s firewall, antivirus and spyware programmes
- Restrict the amount of personal information you show on social networking sites including your birthday and your address
- Never share passwords or PINS with anyone
- Don’t write down passwords or PINS
- Use different passwords and PIN for each account you have
- When choosing passwords and PIN’s don’t use your date of birth or your child’s name (if you have one)
- Use strong passwords that include a mixture of upper case and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation. Ideally a password should contain at least 10 characters
- Shred all important paper documents like bank statements before you throw them away
You can see why it’s not only important to protect your business from cybercrime but it’s also important to protect you. The world is ever changing and cybercrime is becoming more and more prevalent.
Act today and ensure you’re not a target for the fraudsters.
e-mpower.IT are based in Burgess Hill, West Sussex and offer IT support and guidance for small to medium sized businesses in the South East of England.
We are the specialists in handling your IT needs including: antivirus, software, hardware, backup, Cloud services and more.