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Keeping your details secure online

With the amount of transactions we now undertaking over the internet, online security is now more important than ever. Falling foul of an online scam can potentially mean losses running into the thousands of pounds. So how can you keep you and your business safe online?

Change of bank details

Fraudsters will contact a business claiming to be from an existing supplier and advising that the bank details for paying invoices should be changed. If you receive such a communication it should be scrutinised for authenticity. You should not amend any payment details until you are satisfied it is genuine. We recommend that details are checked by contacting the business directly using existing contact details you hold.

Bogus boss

The “bogus boss” scam is when a fraudster sends an email which purports to be from a colleague. The email instructs the recipient to make an urgent payment. The email continues to say something along the lines of ‘let me know when you are ready and I will send you the beneficiary account details’. If you or your staff receive an email of this nature speak to the ‘sender’ or a senior colleague to make sure the instruction is genuine before responding to the email or making any payment.

Top tips to stay safe online

Here are our top tips to keep your details safe online:

  1. Change your passwords regularly.
  2. Use a long password which includes symbols and numbers – this can even be an expression or a sentence without spaces and punctuation.
  3. If you have a lot of online accounts, get a password management system such as Last Pass, which enables you to store all your passwords securely.
  4. Wherever you can, use “two-factor authentication”. In simple terms, this could involve a code which is sent by text to your mobile phone.
  5. Do not leave your password written down for others to see – it is amazing how many people do this is in a business environment!
  6. Never divulge your password to anyone.
  7. If you are contacted by anyone purporting to be from your internet provider, software provider, bank etc., ensure you ring them back from a different phone on the normal number before divulging the answer to any security questions.
  8. Train your staff and remind them of the importance of security procedures and controls when working online

Following these simple tips consistently will help you stay secure online. Remember if an email looks too good to be true, e.g. an unexpected tax refund, or is demanding an urgent payment; it probably is, so take a moment to check it before acting on it. Stay secure and protect your data and your business.

Andrew Picker



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