Bob’s Business is once again pleased to support ‘Get Safe Online Week’ in delivering and educating the UK with expert advice on staying safe online. This year’s campaign focuses on the problematic issue of “Phishing”.
Take a read below to find out how Phishing can impact your organisation and what actions you can take to prevent it.
Can you tell something Phishy is going on?
Online activity has become a significant part of everyday lives with over 87% of UK adults encountering online activity over a 3 month period. Cybercriminals are exploiting society’s adoption of the internet by developing strong “Phishing” techniques such as bogus emails, in an attempt to gain an individual’s sensitive information from naive and vulnerable organisations and individuals.
Today, cyber criminals go to great lengths to make their Phishing scams look as authentic as possible by using branding techniques, masked domains and spoofed email addresses. As a result, thousands of unsuspecting online users are victimized every day, with cybercrime accounting for £303bn annually, the equivalent of the GDP of over 150 countries. The figures below illustrate how Phishing has become a major worldwide crime and the importance of staying safe online.
- 8% of the UK have fallen victim to a Phishing attack.
- A further 42% of the UK have been targeted with vicious Phishing attacks, however not fallen victim to the attack.
- 58% of Phishing targets have received a Phishing attack within the last year.
- 51% of those affected by Phishing scams were victim to Emails claiming to be from financial organisations/ consumer banks asking for consumers to change/verify their details.
The ever increasing worry for the Vulnerable
Although some say age is just a number, that’s not the case when it comes to Phishing. Adverse to popular belief, Get Safe Online research found that younger people are surprisingly more likely to be victims of a Phishing attack than the older generation, with the younger generation of Millennials being far less savvy when dealing with a cyber attack.
11% of 18-24 year olds have been a victim of a Phishing attack compared to only 5% of 55+ year olds. This is despite the fact that older people are more likely to be targeted. 36% of 18-24 year olds have been targeted by Phishing, but have not fallen victim to it, oppose to 47% of 55+ year olds.
This is because the younger generation doesn’t take enough precautions when it comes to Phishing: only 40% of 18-24 year olds stated that they carefully read and re-read all emails, compared to 69% of 55+ year olds.
The younger generation is also more likely to lose more money from a Phishing attack. 24% of 18-24 year olds have lost a large amount of money that had a significant effect on their finances/lifestyle, oppose to a mere 3% of 55+ year olds.
This accounts for younger (18-24 year olds) people losing an average of £613.22, oppose to older people (55+ year olds) losing an average of £214.70, revealing that when the younger generation do fall victim, they are likely to lose 3 times more.
With workplace demands now heavily relying upon online and IT application, it is no surprise that there is an increasing worry based on the awareness and education of cyber security in the workplace, in particular for the younger generation.
Scammer Nanas go Phishing
As part of their online safety awareness campaign, Get Safe Online trained a group of older generation people, referred to as “Scammer Nanas”, to fulfill the objective of Phishing their grandchildren in an attempt to banish the thoughts of a quarter of young people (27%) who believe that they are too smart and savvy to fall victim to a Cyber scam.
Five “Scammer Nanas” were recruited, and sent on a mission to send out a Phishing email campaign to their Grandchildren, in an attempt to showcase how vulnerable the younger generation is to a Phishing attack. The mission included faking their emails, creating false links and inventing a fake company.
As a result, after only a few hours of the attack going live, nearly all of the grandchildren had clicked on their grandparents Phishing attack and had become victims, demonstrating that the younger generation isn’t as savvy as they make out, but more importantly reiterating the worry for the awareness and education levels for the younger generation in preventing and dealing with Cyber crime.
The “Scammer Nanas” campaign showcased that not only is every online user at risk of a Phishing attack, but that anybody is capable of implementing a vicious Phishing attack, whether it be an IT scamming expert or somebody’s nan.
Making sure that online safety is taken seriously
This year’s Get Safe Online week is focused on helping online users protect themselves from scam emails, text messages and social media posts. Here are a few simple steps to follow to help prevent you from falling victim to a Cyber criminal’s next Phishing attack:
- Never divulge any personal/financial data including usernames, passwords, PINs, memorable phrases or ID numbers.
- Be aware that sender email addresses can be spoofed to appear as if they’re being sent by an organisation or person you know. Even these spoofed addresses can appear authentic when you mouse over/touch them.
- Ensure that devices such as your computer and mobile phone all have internet security software loaded, switched on and kept updated regularly.
- Be very careful that people or organisations you’re supplying payment card or other confidential information to are genuine, and then never reveal passwords.
- Don’t readily click on links in emails, texts or posts/tweets from unknown sources, this could lead to viruses or your confidential information being compromised.
- Remember that a genuine bank or other organisation will never ask you for your password via email, text, instant message or phone call.
- Don’t open email attachments from unknown sources, as they may cause your device to be infected with ransomware, spyware or other malware.
- Update software and apps when prompted, including operating systems. These often contain security updates that could guard against malware.