#LunchtimeSpecial — All About Cyber Security

CMDN Collective
Aug 15, 2019 · 4 min read

We hosted a Lunchtime Special in our board room all about cyber security for small businesses and charities and we learnt lots of useful tips and tricks, all thanks to #CollectiveFam AzuKo who organised it.

We were joined by the Met Police who came in to run through steps on how to make yourself safer online. We thought we’d share the key points we took from the talk…

So, exactly how big is this cyber crime epidemic?

Cyber Crime takes up 50% of all crimes now. You’re much more likely to become a victim of fraud and cyber than you are to be burgled. With social media and data leakage, information we put online is also being easily found and used to target fraud.

There’s also more money to be made in cyber crime — you’re more likely to get paid directly by the victims and when you’re caught you get a reduced or suspended sentence, which really explains why it’s such a growing trend.

With the evolution of hacking, has come the need to understand coding and computers, which has meant that hackers are being able to target big business. With the explosion of the dark web, users are able to buy someone else’s tools and pay hackers in bitcoins who will do all of this for you.

Here are some of the main types of cyber crime:


Ransomware is a huge thing and the easiest to protect yourself from. It’s a piece of malware that often comes through email. This evolved into crypto-ware and this attaches itself to all of your most important files, and to such a standard that it will take 100 years to get rid of them. Hackers will then ask for money to get your data back, and people often get tricked into paying them. However, even if you do pay, the data is still always going to be gone for good, and by paying them, you are funding further cyber crime.

Too much information

With social media on the rise, people are sharing their location wherever they go, and these can be used to track and trace people. Even fitness apps like Strava, that are used for recording runs, can be adopted by hackers to locate your home address and local area, and people are being burgled because of it.

Mandate fraud

This happens when someone rings to say that they’ve changed their phone number and a hacker hacks into the phone call and has access to your details. This is now overtaking ransomware, as breachers are looking for businesses to target where they can work out 2 businesses are working together and then intercept payments, phone calls or emails.

Here are some ways to improve your security online:

  • Prevent the infection in the first place — this can be done by refraining from downloading movies illegally or using adult sites. However, this has changed somewhat now, as big marketing firms are allowing this to happen for money as criminals are buying legitimate marketing space.
  • Back up your data in 3 places — if anything happens to one of these spots then you will have a backup somewhere.
  • Download Nomoreransom.org — the unique selling point of ransomware is that you can sometimes get your data back as some of them are flawed. Upload an encrypted file and the site might be able to unlock the file. However, most of the time it still can’t be accessed.
  • Use tools like GlassPass to come up with obscure passwords that no one could guess. We often choose straightforward passwords that we’ll easily remember like football or a relative’s name — this is dangerous.
  • Limit the information you’re sharing online. Turn off your location services when using social media sites, and stop telling all of your followers where you are and what you’re doing. Avoid using public WiFi hotspots that are not secure or ask you for personal information to access it.
  • Hundreds of websites have now had their details stolen — There are tools that can be used to find your details in different data sets, such as Have I been pwned? However, more often than not, there’s nothing you can do about your data once it’s gone.
  • Set up two factor authentication — a tool where you have to fill in something you know and something you have when making a transaction or logging into accounts. It’s available on lots of stuff and can be set up on lots of different providers such as Gmail and Amazon.

Good news!

Anyone that runs or hosts their own website can improve their safety now as police can scan your website and give you reports to check a website’s safety. Lots of hacks can happen with vulnerabilities that are known, and a lot of these can be easily prevented and solved, if you regularly check on your online safety.

Here’s a link for further tips and advice.

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