5 things you might be frightened about this Halloween

There’s a lot to be scared about these days around cyber security so just what should we be scared of? Here are some of the monsters and some tips on how to avoid them.


1. Phishing

These guys are the Shape Shifters pretending to be something they’re not. They may present as an email from your bank asking for verification or maybe a trusted contact sending you a file needing you to log in or a link to click. They are either after your details (passwords, credit card details etc) or trying to install malware. It’s tricky to tell the imposters from the real thing but there’s help available – Bob’s business offers some really useful training. They can pop up in other places too such as Facebook.     Be suspicious!


2. Ransomware

Wannacry is old news now but there may be another vampire just around the corner. That one got established due to old operating systems without security updates. Make sure your system is still supported and receiving all the patches automatically. You need to be running a reputable antivirus system too.


3. Sniffing

The full term is packet sniffing – it’s a term for the interception of your internet traffic. There’s a witch on a broomstick flying around catching your private data as it flies through the air.        What to do?

When you use a public Wi-Fi service, imagine your screen is being displayed on the café wall – ok for checking the bus timetable but if you’re handling confidential data then that’s not good. Use your mobile phone to set up a hotspot or if you have to use a free WiFi you don’t know then sign up for a VPN service such as https://encrypt.me/to secure your data in transit.


4. Blackmail

I had an email this week from a Werewolf who told me my password. It’s an old password I used years ago – possibly for LinkedIn before they had a data breach. Pretty scary – I’d never written it down or used it for anything else! They wanted me to pay them many dollars’ worth of Bitcoin as apparently, they have filmed me with my webcam doing something I simply don’t have the anatomy for while browsing unsavoury websites. They are going to send the video to all my contacts if I don’t pay (I’m not going to, so watch out for a video of me doing sudoku).

Get your email address tested (https://haveibeenpwned.com/) and if you’re on a hacked list, make sure you have new passwords.


5. Hacking

They don’t need an axe to try to hack your password (yes this old chestnut again)  Machines can go through many combinations of passwords to try to get into your accounts. Make your passwords complex but memorable – and you don’t need to change them regularly unless you suspect someone knows it. See our previous blog for more password advice.


If you’d like to be sure your organisation has done what it needs to, ask Risk Evolves about becoming Cyber Essentials certified.

Don’t be scared this Halloween – just be aware!  Keep your eye out for those vampire bats, ghosts, goblins and witches.

For more information on Cyber Security, go to the National Cyber Security Centre’s website or Get Safe Online