18 December 2015

Keep safe online this Christmas and into the New Year

Thousands of busy Scots will be purchasing their Christmas shopping online this year, against a backdrop of rising cybercrime.

The fraudsters are getting cleverer and more sophisticated, and it seems that we are all a target in both our personal and business lives.

This is so much the case that the Scottish Government has launched a strategy aimed at helping business organisations and individuals stay safe while using the web.

At Carbon we have experienced fraudsters first-hand and they have always been stopped at the first post. Our systems and processes are rigorously tested on a regular basis, and staff are trained to make sure that we never find ourselves the victim of a scam or a fraud. We have many safeguards in place for clients: for example, we always follow up email instructions for monies to be disinvested with a phone call.

Our firewalls have to be very tight; so if clients ever find they don’t receive a prompt reply to an email, we suggest they ring us, just in case the secure system has prevented their mail from reaching us.

The good news is that it is estimated that as much as 80% of cybercrime can be prevented by getting the basics right.

So what can we do?

We asked Graeme Scott of SARN Technologies for his expert opinion on how to protect yourself from cybercrime. This is his advice:

  • BE SUSPICIOUS. Cybercrime relies on you being trusting, so if you are unsure about anything, phone the other party back on a number from a published source, noton the number which might be in an email.
  • Genuine organisations are not going to ask for full passwords over the phone and they will NEVER ask for a PIN number.
  • Just because an email says it’s from ‘your bank’ doesn’t mean it is. DOUBLE CHECK. Clicking on the link in the ‘from’ field often tells you who the email is actually from.
  • NEVER CLICK A LINK in an email that you are unsure about – however rich it promises to make you.
  • Create Strong passwords – use upper and lower case as well as a combination of numbers and symbols.
  • Turn on your firewall settings.
  • Keep your PC/laptop protected with the latest version of anti-virus software.
  • Never give out your security details over the phone.
  • Make sure all your mobile devices are Password/PIN protected.
  • Never act on an email/phone call that is unexpected or does not feel right – do your homework first.
  • Make sure you install software updates.
  • Make regular system backups.

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Carbon Financial Partners, part of The Progeny Group, is a trading name of Carbon Financial Partners Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under reference 536900.

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