A warning about scams and cybersecurity for you and your business over the holiday period and the new year

As we all approach the festive season, it’s a sobering thought to remember that this is the season that is also a prime time of year for scammers and cybercriminals to try and scam, steal and defraud both businesses and individuals while everyone is ramped up and busy. Most scams are perpetrated by criminals who assume that you are just too busy to really notice a bogus email, web link or fraudulent PDF, and will just follow instructions without too much notice or concern.

As a consequence, we are seeing a significant upsurge in the number of phishing emails, scams and cyber attacks leading into the end of the year.

This week is Scams Awareness Week, and Universal Computer Solutions is proud to once more be a partner with the ACCC and Scamwatch to raise awareness about the dangers of cybercrime.
Impersonation scams in particular are rampant this year, and we are seeing significant numbers of people receiving and being fooled by phishing scams stealing login credentials to email accounts, social media accounts, banking details and much more.
Unfortunately, these days everyone needs to adopt a very cautious approach and treat *ALL* emails as suspicious unless proven otherwise.

Some advice for everyone to follow to keep safe online:

  • NEVER click on a link in an email, particularly where it tells you to reset a password or verify login details.
  • Don’t use links found in emails or popups to access your web pages or services like Microsoft 365 links, Gmail, your internet banking, Australia Post or pay for services from your gas, electricity or other providers.
  • Do Save your favourites in your web browser, or go to a web page you’re looking for by entering it indirectly rather than clicking on a link to get there.
  • Look and read emails very carefully and be on the lookout for scam emails promising discounts, free offers and other similar details. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Use 2 Factor Authentication wherever possible. And be very vigilant about any text or 2FA notification that pops up. Never disclose a 2FA key or PIN to any third party, and if you have a popup which appears unexpectedly (especially if you are not the one that needs to enter it into your screen), then DO NOT approve the request.
  • A prevalent scam we are seeing a lot of is scammers re-sending invoices and statements with changed BSB and Account numbers, asking you to update banking/payment details. Treat these with a high degree of caution and always call the sender to get a verbal confirmation that the change is legitimate, otherwise, you could be unsuspectingly paying a scammer rather than a legitimate supplier or vendor.

As always, if you are suspicious about any emails or popups on your screen, please feel welcome to call our help desk and one of our team can quickly identify whether you are being targeted by a scam or what to do if you’re targeted.

I encourage you to share this message with family, friends, customers, and colleagues. The more awareness we raise about this, the safer we all become.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking to improve our client’s security by utilising the best technologies available, including AI Based EDR security (including anti-virus and endpoint protection) which protects you from viruses, trojans, and all manner of modern cyber attacks, Mailguard email filtering to eliminate the bulk of junk mail along with malevolent and scam emails, and DNS filtering to protect you while you are browsing online.

If you don’t already have these products installed on your system, we encourage you to let us know so we can lift your security profile and eliminate the “human error” from the equation by providing you with the best cyber security protection available today.

Reach out to us (Universal Computer Solutions) today for more information.

Stay safe! And as always, we are here to help.

The above information on scams and cybersecurity has been copied and pasted from a newsletter we received (December 2023) from Nenad (Ned) Saflin at Universal Computer Solutions. Ned has given us express permission to reproduce this on our blog. If you have concerns that you may have been hacked or need more information, contact the team at Universal Computer Solutions.

Thanks to Ned and the team at Universal Computer Solutions.

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