Cyber security is always in the news, breaches seem to happen weekly and given the numbers of local calls I receive from folks having been tricked into sharing their computer screens and bank details there is still a lot of educating to be done. As electronic defences get better the criminals are turning to the weakest link, namely YOU!

This month I am going to look at social engineering. Cybercriminals are targeting less knowledgeable users and work colleagues to steal commercially valuable information. There are 2 types of attacks: Random and Planned. Here are a few examples:

Random attacks:

Phishing. This is where you get an email saying there has been an issue or “unusual activity” on your account and prompt you to log in and check. You click the link which takes you to a fake log in page, where you accidently give away your log in and password.

Smishing. A similar thing but using a text message, e.g., requesting payment of customs on a delivery for example.


Planned Attacks:

Whaling. Whaling is like targeted phishing, but targets people high up the corporate ladder. A junior member of staff may get an email from a very senior employee and be tricked into sharing sensitive information or to pay a “fake” invoice.

Baiting. This is where a USB stick is left for others to find. Once connected to a computer it installs malware allowing fraudsters to breach later.

According to Action Fraud over £10 million has been lost to courier fraud alone since the start of this year! Their website is a good information source for how to spot a scam. But it does make for scary reading. There are so many ways fraudsters can catch you out. So, keep your wits about you!

If you have been caught out by one of these scams then book your computer in with me for a thorough clean up. Just

to get in touch.


Safe ‘Putering

Caroline The ‘PuterTutor