2nd September 2021

Fraud and computer misuse rises by almost a third this year

An estimated 4.6 million fraud offences have occurred in the last year, which is a 24% increase from 2020.*

During that time, there has also been a 162% surge in cases of unauthorised access to personal information. This increase can be attributed to the pandemic, as more people are forced to use online services without the necessary precautions or measures in place to protect their online activity.

Solicitors have been targeted specifically, with an increase of 125% in scam alerts via the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), with the average number of alerts per working day increasing from 0.8 to 1.2 in the first six months of 2021.

It’s now more important than ever to keep your personal information safe online, not to mention any data relating to your business or its customers. To protect you from falling victim to cybercrime, here’s some advice you can follow…

Create strong passwords

Having a unique password for each site you use rather than one that is used across multiple platforms will give you added protection, especially when it comes to your work equipment.

It’s also a good idea to change your password periodically.

Don’t overshare on social media

Posting too much in-depth information about yourself online can be dangerous.

When posting personal details like your location, birthday or hometown, be cautious and check your privacy settings.

Use free Wi-Fi with caution

Wait until you are on a secure, password protected network to use your credit card or complete any important transactions.

Most free Wi-Fi networks have very little security and other people could easily access your activity.

Watch out for links and attachments

Phishing scams can often look like legitimate emails from your bank or utility company.

Watch out for spelling errors or a different email address than normal, and never click on links or attachments unless you’re sure who they are from.

Since the emergence of COVID-19, this has been particularly harmful to businesses, with many companies failing to have the right infrastructures and processes in place to accommodate remote working for their teams and offer the right training to employees on what to look for.

Check if a site is secure

Check that there is a lock symbol, and the URL begins with ‘https’, before you enter any personal data on a site.

By doing this, you can be sure that the site is secure and your personal information is not going to be leaked, shared or hacked.

Consider additional protection

Installing anti-virus software can be useful at offering peace of mind.

However, it could also be beneficial to consider talking to a professional insurance broker about your risk exposure as an individual or business owner.

To learn more or obtain a cyber insurance quote, contact us today.

*The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Crime Survey for England and Wales

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