New figures show that cyber crime cost £11 billion last year, we are urging businesses and individuals to be scam-savvy.
Cyber criminals are becoming clever in the way they target their victims. Simple steps can be taken to protect data.
Figures from Get Safe Online showed that victims of cyber crime in the UK lost on average £523 last year.
How many people were victims?
53% of victims received emails which directed them to websites where their personal information could have been stolen.
Under 30% had been contacted by someone who was trying to trick them into giving away personal information. A tenth of victims had had their email or social media accounts hacked.
Nigel Taylor, founder and chairman of Taylor Made, says it’s not just individuals who are at risk from hackers and that businesses need to protect themselves too.
He said “Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly clever in the way they target their victims and many scam emails will look like they come from a company you buy from.”
“They may even look as if they are coming from a colleague asking you to transfer money to a client.
It’s easy to see in that situation, particularly if you work in accounts and the email says it is from your managing director, how you can fall into the trap.”
Nigel says what’s worrying about the figures revealed this week is that they could be even higher.
The report from Get Safe Online only takes into account iincidents registered with the national reporting centre Action Fraud.
More than a third of those who told GSO they had been victims of online crime admitted they hadn’t reported the incident – meaning the overall amount lost in the UK could be much higher.
Nigel says: “We would advise anyone who gets a suspicious email to treat it with caution and think carefully before handing over any personal information.
Companies will rarely ask you to resubmit payment information out of the blue via email so if in doubt, call the customer service number they list online and check it out.
“The tenth of people who had their email or social media accounts hacked last year act as a stark reminder to keep your passwords safe.
Use a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols and avoid using words relating to your name or interests which people could guess.
We would always advise against using the same password for multiple sites.”
As an expert in IT and cyber security support for businesses and organisations across the South, we urge anyone who suspects they are being targetted by cyber criminals to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
For more tips and advice visit www.tmcs.co.uk
To download our ‘2017 Roadmap to risk-free IT & data security’ infographic, click HERE