Cybercrime is crime committed online either by hacking or infiltrating a network, computer, smart phone, tablet or email account for the sole purpose of gaining illegal access to information or money. Anyone is a target, from a large corporate bank account to a teenager’s email account. It’s no secret that cybercrime is on a steep and scary rise, with emails now being sent with a phantom ‘From’ email address – what you see isn’t what it actually is. For instance, an email seemingly coming from Your.Colleague@YourCompany.com, in actual fact comes from Squibble@freedomain.com which you can clearly see it, but only if you hit reply or hover over the email address. What you first see works like a picture that hides the true identity of the sender. But if you do open the email or hit reply, the criminal receives notification that your email account is in operation and they’ll immediately set their focus on you.
Who commissions these operators to send fanthom emails and try their hardest to infiltrate your data? Simply put, it’s anyone who wants access to a database consisting of email addresses (1,000 emails can be sold for £200+), anyone wanting cash (any amount will do – £1 from 1,000 unsuspecting accounts = £1,000), anyone wanting sensitive information and anyone wanting to groom someone for the sole purpose of blackmail or committing a crime. Lawyers are at a very high risk because they are like banks, holding large quantities of money, as well as databases and sensitive data. Cybercrime has also turned a new page for some time now, with people being targeted, groomed, blackmailed or forced to do something that they wouldn’t otherwise do. Victims are children, men and women anywhere in the world of any background. Never be fooled into thinking that if you are of a certain status, you’re protected.
So, how do we protect ourselves from cybercrime? Stay informed!! At all times! If you’ve attended a workshop on cybercrime last month, you’re out of date and need to get up to scratch with new developments. Consider the following warnings:
· Use your own data allowance – never use open networks
· Don’t store card details on websites
· Always use two-step verification password settings
· Ignore pop-ups which will likely install malware into your device
· Use the best anti-virus software on the market – not free downloads (if it’s free it can’t be that good)
You must also pay close attention to emails: from whom and what’s in the content. Never open attachments unless you are 100% sure what it is. Imagine an email comes from your wife asking you to put a certain amount of cash into an account, she’s added the details etc. Did she really ask you to do that? Ring her first and ask – don’t even text her because you don’t know if her phone’s been hacked too or stolen. How about an email from your husband with an attachment? Did he really send that email? What’s in the attachment?
At DG Law we stay informed and protect our online presence but cybercrime is a daily battle worldwide because it keeps getting more sophisticated and cunning. If you ever receive any emails from anyone at DG Law, please heed the following health warnings:
We can work together to stay protected. By Sandra Garcao
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