The Popular Social Media Post That Makes You Vulnerable to Hackers

A recent popular Facebook post asks users to provide a list of 10 concerts, and then challenges the user’s friends to guess the concert that they haven’t attended. While this type of post can resurface unforgettable memories of past concerts, it can also open the door for cyber criminals to steal your information.

Often, websites ask security questions to recover your password: one of which may ask about your first concert. Accurately responding to this question, then revealing the answer publicly on social media allows thieves to more easily breach your account and steal personal information. (more…)

Top Tips for Preparing Your Home for Summer

It pays to inspect your home for safety and efficiency before the summer season fully sets in. While you can complete some of these cleaning procedures yourself, other duties require professional help to ensure the work is completed accurately.

  1. Clean out your fridge, freezer and pantry. Take everything out, wipe down the shelves and throw away expired food. Rearrange your food for better organisation and cleanliness.
  2. Organise the garage. Seasonal items can quickly become dusty and disorganised when not in use. Keep your garage clean and organised by installing shelving and by hanging tools on the wall.
  3. Examine door and window insulation. Make sure weather stripping sufficiently seals openings, and immediately repair any cracks or peeling. Then, open your windows to expose your home to fresh air.
  4. Inspect your roof. The roof is your home’s first defence against heat and rain. Maintain the roof’s integrity by hiring a roofing professional to examine its flashing, caulking and shingles.
  5. Sort your wardrobe closet. The winter months may have left your summer clothes buried and wrinkly. Use this time to rotate seasonal clothing, clean any dusty items and select old clothes for donation.
  6. Maintain your garden. Rip out weeds and dead plants, rake mulch and plant beds to promote oxygenation. Then, use a lopper to trim shrubbery and overhanging trees.

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WannaCry Highlights Why You Should Prepare For Ransomware

WannaCry, a ransomware program that targets a vulnerability in outdated versions of Microsoft Windows, has spread across 150 countries and infected more than 230,000 computers since it was launched on 12th May. It disrupted many NHS hospitals in England and Scotland, infecting up to an estimated 70,000 devices, including computers, MRI scanners, blood-storage refrigerators and theatre equipment.

The danger that the ransomware program poses is based partially on how invasive it is. After infecting just one computer, WannaCry can spread to every device in a network within seconds. It works by locking users out of their computers before demanding money to regain control of their data. Initially, WannaCry requires about £230, but, if no payment is made within three days, it then threatens to double the amount. If no payment is made within that time, the ransomware program then threatens to delete the files after seven days. (more…)

5 Simple Tricks to Avoid MOT Failure

Recent government statistics suggest that half of the faults found in MOT tests can be prevented by performing simple car maintenance.

The most common cause of MOT failure is lighting and signalling issues, such as blown bulbs, which cause almost 19 per cent of all MOT failures. Suspension (13 per cent) and brake (10 per cent) problems are a close second and third.

Taking the time to periodically perform these safety checks saves you time and money when your car’s MOT is due.

  1. Check your lights. Inspect lights for loose or damaged parts, and ensure light colours are correct and matching.
  2. Examine your tyres. Check for at least 1.6mm tread, and for cuts, bulges and inflation.
  3. Analyse your brakes. Make sure brakes work efficiently and don’t pull the vehicle to one side.
  4. Test your windscreen wipers and washers. Confirm proper functionality and visibility.
  5. Clear obstructions from your view of the road. Remove distractions, such as sat navs, air fresheners and mobiles, from blocking your view.

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How To Hack-Proof Your Smartphone

Millions of us carry around our personal data within our phones, and some make it easier to hack than others.

To access your personal stored information, including bank details and your address, all a hacker needs is your phone. If this is not adequately secured, their mission is even easier. Of the principle causes of security breaches, unsecured mobile phones are among the top seven. But with this advice from Bennett Christmas, yours doesn’t have to be.

Bluetooth
The more you leave your Bluetooth connected, the more opportunity you provide unwarranted access. Make sure it’s turned off if you’re not using it.

WiFi
It can be tempting to hook up to whatever network is going to allow you to connect. But beware – unsecured public networks can be a portal for an underworld of snoopware and spam. It’s better to log on to a secured network, such as that which you would find in a coffee shop, or use your cellular data. And avoid checking your bank account when you’re on the fly to keep your bank details safe.
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Wake-Up Call For Businesses After NHS Hit With Ransomware Attack

Over the last 48 hours, news headlines have been dominated by the ransomware attack which has affected some NHS services and numerous other organisations around the world.

Ransomware is a form of virus that encrypts your files, making them inaccessible. The criminals behind the attack then demand a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key that will restore access.

As with other types of virus, ransomware is typically spread via emails which spoof high profile brands.

All users are reminded not to click email hyperlinks or attachments unless you know the sender and were expecting the message. (more…)

30 Billion Reasons to Prioritise Cyber Security at Your Company

Two-thirds of UK organisations have not provided their employees with cyber security training, according to a recent survey from professional IT solutions firm, Ultima. What’s more, half admitted they are unprepared for an attack and, if an attack occurs, they have no recovery plan in place. This extensive negligence for cyber security is particularly troubling, as each UK organisation was subjected to 230,000 cyber attacks in 2016, according to research from internet service provider, Beaming. While not every attack was successful, the ones that were cost the UK economy approximately £30 billion in total losses.

The five most common and dangerous cyber threats to your organisation include the following:

1. Ransomware: A piece of malicious software that encrypts all of the data on an organisation’s network and can only be decrypted after paying cyber criminals a ransom.

2. Hacking: A cyber criminal will exploit an unpatched vulnerability within an organisation’s security software to access its data.
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Follow These Simple Money-saving Tricks Every Time You Travel Abroad

Travelling abroad for work or holiday is already stressful without having to worry about money. While money may not be at the forefront of your mind while abroad, travelling can quickly become pricey. To avoid a nasty bill once you return home, here are some simple tricks to save money while travelling abroad:

1. Make sure to use a credit card for purchases. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, consumers have extra rights for purchases between £100 and £30,000. If you use a debit card or cash, you are missing out on this protection.
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Your Selfie Could Open the Door to Criminals

While social media can be a valuable tool for entertainment and communication, it can also open the door to crime. When you share pictures of your location or possessions on social media, you enable criminals to target you for criminal behaviour.

None of your social media posts are ever truly private. And can you really trust all of your ‘friends’ on social media networks? With that in mind, follow these tips to stay safe while enjoying social media: (more…)

How to Manage Rising Motor Insurance Rates

Motor insurance premiums have risen by an average of £110 within the last year, according to recent industry research. In fact, the average comprehensive policy
premium of £781 could pass £1,000 by 2018.

These changes stem from an adjustment to the Ogden rate, the upcoming rise to the Insurance Premium Tax from 10 to 12 per cent and more expensive technology in vehicles.

For the last 16 years, the Ogden rate, the rate used to calculate personal injury claim payouts, has been set at 2.5 per cent. Now, after a ruling by the Minister of Justice, the Ogden rate has been reduced to -0.75 per cent, resulting in more money for injury victims, but a higher bill for insurers. (more…)