The Little Book of Big Scams by the Met Police

To mark ‘World Elder Abuse Awareness Day’ last year, the Metropolitan Police Service produced a guide on how to avoid some of the most common scams.

‘The Little Book of Big Scams’ is a comprehensive guide on fraud prevention, explaining some of the most common scams in existence, ranging from the simple to the sophisticated, providing essential advice to reduce the chances of you being parted from your money.

The booklet is primarily aimed at the elderly and vulnerable in society as they are particularly at risk; but anyone who reads it will benefit. People from all backgrounds and income levels are targeted by scammers – anyone can fall victim to fraud.

The book is also useful in showing how to combat identity fraud by protecting your bank account, computer and phone.

The guide was launched by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) alongside Esther Rantzen and Gary Fitzgerald, (CEO of Action on Elder Abuse).

A PDF-version of ‘The Little Book of Big Scams’ is available to download on here.

Protecting Your Files From CryptoLocker

 

Protect & Prevent Attacks Before They Happen

What is CryptoLocker & How Does it Work?

You may have heard in recent weeks there has been a rise in cyber-attacks affecting companies all over the world. This virus is known as CryptoLocker and can be incredibly damaging to your business. CryptoLocker is a virus created by hackers that can infect PCs running on Microsoft Windows. A hacker’s main purpose is to hijack computers, encrypt all of the files on the computer and network making them unreadable. The hacker sends a message which states data is encrypted and requests a payment to regain access. If payment is not given, they will not release the key to decrypt the files and they are useless. Extech strongly advise not to provide hackers with money and to contact us straight away. Times is of the essence when you have identified that files have been encrypted. The faster you inform us, the quicker we can limit the damage to your data. It is important to supply as much information as possible if a user has opened an infected email. The quicker we understand the source of the infection, the less damage will be done.

Most Common Way a Hacker Uses CryptoLocker

Email attachments are one of the most common ways a hacker can infect your computer and the network. Once opened, it infects the machine and spreads across the network. If you are unsure of an attachment you have received, it’s important to check before opening it. There are a few ways to tell if it is from a potential hacker:

– the email is from an unknown email address

– spoofing their email address so it looks like it has been sent from someone you know or a colleague e.g. accounts@exetch.co.uk

What Does Extech Do for You?

At Extech we implement safeguards for you to give a basic layer of protection. These include: using a strong antivirus or endpoint protection system (ESET, Trend & Sophos) and backup solutions to quickly restore your files in the event of an infection. Although these protection mechanisms give a good deal of protection, they are not infallible, and users are advised to be extremely vigilant. As systems become more secure, viruses and exploits increasingly rely on social engineering and ‘tricking’ users into infecting their systems. There are however additional products (such as OpenDNS) which can prevent the initial communication to the CryptoLocker servers. Speak to you Sales representative if you require additional protection.

What can you do to protect against CryptoLocker?

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Never open emails or attachments from unknown sources (usually called invoice.pdf, accounts.xls). If the email requests transfer of funds, double check directly with the sender.

 

 

Disable hidden file extensions in Windows so that you can recognise untrustworthy sources. If the attachment doesn’t have the normal icon for the application, check with Extech.

 

 

Ensure that you have a secure password policy. Make sure you change your password at least every 90 days or you have a system policy to enforce. Passwords with known words are easy to guess. Passwords such as ‘Password123’ are instantly crackable and practically useless.

 

 

Ensure that your back up system is up to date and ensure that you have the best up to date anti-virus.

 

 

 

Be vigilant, if you have any suspicions that your company is infected contact us immediately on 01444 443200.

Get to know Microsoft Office 365 – 7 products you might not be so familiar with

You may be accustomed with the likes of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and SharePoint, but you may be surprised to discover a whole host of innovative products included in the Office 365 suite – all of which come with their own unique features to drive modern ways of working.

OneNote 

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OneNote is your digital free-form notebook. Capture your thoughts and ideas, whether that is in the form of notes, screen clippings, drawings and even audio and share these across your team to enable greater collaboration. OneNote also automatically saves and synchronizes all your notes as you work across platforms, all stored in the cloud.

Skype for Business 

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Skype for Business provides instant messaging and audio/video conferencing capabilities. Perform online meetings and face to face conferencing with multiple participants. The instant messaging feature is perfect for getting fast responses and for making quick decisions compared to an email function. Screen sharing also allows users to showcase documents and fosters collaboration.

Yammer 

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Your business social network. Share information faster, stay connected with colleagues, gather opinions and ideas and create groups for specialist discussions. All of this means Yammer is a great tool for internal communications. It is also available on mobile devices via the app.

Power BI 

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Power BI transforms your company’s data into compelling visuals. Bring together data, whether that’s from Excel, SQL or various legacy systems and on-premise sources, and model and analyse it to create interactive reports and dashboards that be accessed by employees across the business. All of which helps to make better, well-informed business decisions.

OneDrive for Business 

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OneDrive for Business is the crucial place where individuals can store, share and sync their work related files in the cloud. Users can share and collaborate on documents with co-workers from any device with OneDrive for Business. The Sync Offline tool allows users to work without a connection to the internet.

Delve 

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Delve helps you to curate and discover all business documents across the Office 365 suite, from OneDrive for Business to SharePoint, in one place. As well as typical search functions, the intelligent ‘discover’ feature, powered by machine learning, brings relevant content to the attention of the user based on their past content activity and who they work with. Users have their own personalised profile page which includes their recently accessed documents, co-worker profiles and feed-based suggested content which can be grouped together.

Planner 

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Planner is your work management tool. It easily allows your team to make new plans, organise, categorise and assign tasks, share files and get regular updates on the status of projects in a visual way.

 

Discover how you can get the benefits of Office 365 without the burden and complexity of migration and management with Extech here.