Learning about cybercrime together

What is Cybercrime Risk?

This month the GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour considered cybercrime risk. In conclusion Cybercrime risk is the potential threat of a person or thing that is likely to cause damage by exploiting a vulnerability (a flaw, feature or use error) that may result in a negative impact.

Coping with threats and dealing with our fears

Threats can be general like scam emails sent out in large quantities in the hope that recipients might respond or can be target specifically at you. Cybercrime has many different motives often money or data, but sometimes can be more sinister such as entrapment or revenge. Everyone seems to be bombarded with junk email and nuisance calls these days, and the workshop concluded it is good to share the burden, learn more about the threats we all face and get support together.

What are the vulnerabilities that expose us to cybercrime?

There are 3 areas to examine: Networks, Devices and People.

  • Everyone uses a network connection to access the internet whether that is via a LAN Cable, WiFi router or mobile data connection. Each method will have security built into the hardware, but not all of us know how to use it or have access to the security controls.
  • All digital devices have security built into their operating systems, making sure it is used, updated regularly as well as having it personal data backup are the basics of minimise risk.
  • The greatest potential for risk is ourselves, a lack of knowledge, forgetfulness, carefree or risky behaviours increases exposure to cybercrime threats. Or simply making a mistake which we are all prone to do many times in our lives.

Criminals rely on this. Hence the term “Phishing” scam emails are literally criminals fishing for people with hope to net an unsuspecting victim. Often posing as your ISP, PayPal, Apple, Microsoft, or Amazon suggesting there is a problem with your account or are offering a refund (“a carrot or stick”). The “hook” is the internet link in email which delivers the malware onto your device. If you click on the link you are “caught” and the damage is done.

If you want to learn more and help others please join the GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour held monthly for more information see the GTT Upcoming Events, Cybercrime Vigilance and Student Area on this website.

The “New Normal” of Life Online – Be afraid or be confident, the choice is yours

How often do you hear people say things like this?

  • “I don’t mind going on the internet, but I am not banking or shopping online, I am frightened of losing my money.”
  • “I get so much junk and dodgy emails; I am sick of using my tablet.”
  • “I am worried about what my children are doing online, there are so many scary stories.”
  • “I have heard a lot about bullying and hateful things being said on the internet, I don’t want to be exposed to any of it.”

When you are frightened you often can not see the difference between FEAR and RISK. We can all be frightened, and it prevents us looking at the real risk or threat.

To avoid any irrational fear, you need to know whether you really have anything to worry about. How likely can something bad happen? What are the consequences of something bad happening?

In life when we overcome our fear or live through something terrible, we can reflect on this experience and sometime see the positive outcomes. I like to think of this has “the school of hard knocks”.

Since the COVID19 pandemic we have all been forced out of our comfort zone by doing more things online, whether that is work, schooling, meet friends, paying bills, arrange doctor’s appointments, shopping, and entertainment.

Get Technology Together (GTT) with the support of West Yorkshire Police Community Safety Fund has launched “Cybercrime Vigilance”, to help people understand the real threat to citizens living an online life today. GTT has been running community classes and help people get the most out their technology for many years, and has learnt that there are some simple rules to follow when being online that can dramatically reduce your risk to being a victim of crime. GTT is asking for you help to participate in exploring cybercrime threats to develop affordable strategies to help you and your family stay safe online. Please contact GTT if you want more information on how to be involved in “Cybercrime Vigilance”.