My Five Ways to Stay Safe OnlinePosted: 6th June 2017

Recent events have cast the need for online security in horrifying perspective. Ransomware called Wanna Decryptor infected more than 200,000 individual terminals in 150 countries. There was chaos in A & E departments, silent production lines at Nissan’s Sunderland operation, and an incalculable cost in both economic and human terms. The malware will most probably have been given its opportunity by something as simple as a click on an attachment in a plausible-looking email, and then spread like a plague throughout the whole infected network.

As EMG’s practice manager, the risk of cyber attacks is one of the things that keeps me awake at night. At the same time as the internet becomes more and more indispensable in every part of our lives, cybercrime has become the fastest-growing criminal activity on the planet. We at EMG are dedicated to making sure that you can entrust your affairs to us in safety. So without giving away any of our security secrets, here are my five pointers as to how you can help us keep you secure.

1. We have to make sure that the identification our clients give us is rock solid. ID requirements can be a nuisance at the start of a transaction, especially if you want to get going quickly, but please bear with us while we deal with your paperwork – this is the first step in keeping you safe from fraud.

2. Never trust email as a medium for communicating or changing important financial information such as bank account details. Expect to deal with this only with someone you know at our end, on the phone or face to face.

3. If you need to send us funds, ring your solicitor first to check our bank details and to also alert them that the money is on the way. Always check that the number you use is the one on our website. Never ring the number at the bottom of an email for something as important as this – the email might have been intercepted and changed by a fraudster.

4. If the time comes for us to send you money, we will use the bank details you told us at the start of the transaction. We won’t ever accept or request confirmation of new bank details by email – a common fraud happens when an email chain is hacked and the fraudster sends a replacement email with their own bank details instead of yours.

5. Look after your own IT hygiene. Keep your personal devices password protected with a strong password which you change regularly. Keep your anti-virus up to date. And don’t use or share memory sticks unless you have received it from a person you know and trust, and always check for viruses.

Finally, if anything looks at all strange about a communication which is supposed to have come from us, please let us know immediately. Never hesitate to ask – we are here to look after your interests first and foremost. Please remember – be vigilant at all times!