Bob warns ‘Don’t get phished this Christmas!’

Barnsley-based Cyber Security Awareness Training provider is campaigning to stop people being caught by phishing emails out this Christmas.

Bob’s Business developed the campaign with the aim of making sure that everyone is aware of the dangers that drop into their inbox every day, but especially over the Christmas period.

Phishing involves scam emails being sent to you by fraudsters with the aim of stealing personal information, login credentials or bank details. These emails more often than not mirror that of brands you trust, luring you into a false sense of security or by scaring you into giving away your details.

Each year, phishing is becoming more and more common, with the latest figures from APWG showing that the amount of unique phishing sites being detected reaching over 158,000 a month.[1]

Melanie Oldham, owner and managing director of Bob’s Business said; “In a month where we do kind gestures and show our gratitude towards others, naivety can take over your weariness to phishing emails which is why we must stay vigilant to the possibility that not all emails are as genuine as they may seem – it’s this very reason they are so successful.”

Phishing is becoming more sophisticated and targeted by the year, as a new phishing attacks claim waves after waves of victims each time. These emails aims to target the widest amount of people possible for financial gains; during Christmas these aims use our Christmas habits as a framework to con those who are less educated in phishing.

Misleading communications cause a few headaches over the Christmas period as emails target those looking for a pre-Christmas bargain to treat family and friends, and the kindness of contacts sending e-cards or e-gifts.

Get Safe Online revealed that phishing attacks grew 21% in 2015 which highlights the success rate of this method of fraud.

Due to the expensive nature of the Christmas period it’s easy for consumers to get sucked into a great offer so they can make their friends and family happy.

However, this can have major consequences for those who give away sensitive information to the fraudsters like money being stolen from your bank account.

Phishing emails can also contain malware which could infect your computer, tablet or mobile which is why you shouldn’t click on any links in suspicious emails, especially since ransomware is becoming more and more common.

Ransomware is a form of malware, which if it gets into your system, hijacks your device and asks you to pay a fee to regain control of it, yet even if you pay this fee there’s no guarantee that your will regain control of your machine.

Melanie Oldham added; “For two years, Bob’s Business has been delivering simulated phishing awareness, under the name of Think Before You Click, to organisations of all sizes to ensure that their staff can spot phishing emails.

“By teaching people how to spot key features that give phishing emails away, we are providing a service that could save an organisation.”

There’s a few things that everyone can do to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing email:

  • Always shop at reputable sources – if you’re unsure as to whether the email is real, search for the shop on Google.
  • Disable images in your inbox to make sure that no e-cards or e-gifts that are infected with malware can infect your computer
  • Check the email address. While the email might look reputable, the email address most probably won’t
  • Hover over any links in the email and check the url in the bottom left of the screen. If it looks like a long, random set of numbers and letter then, it isn’t secure
  • Check for spelling mistakes – it’s common for phishing emails to contain poor spelling and grammar
  • Maintain strong desktop hygiene – make sure that all programs, operating systems and antivirus are up-to-date with the latest version
  • Report any phishing email to receive to your IT team
  • Think Before You Click – be vigilant and aware

Bob’s Business is a cyber security awareness company on a mission to help you bridge the knowledge gap between IT and end users. Your team will be provided with engaging and memorable ways to keep your sensitive information secure. Bob’s Business’ cloud-based training modules are clear and concise. Using relatable animations and stories, your employees learn the practical information security skills they need.

For further information contact Jonathon on 01226 720801 or jonathon@bobsbusiness.co.uk. Alternatively, visit: https://bobsbusiness.co.uk

[1] http://docs.apwg.org/reports/apwg_trends_report_q2_2016.pdf

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