Tips on keeping your privacy, while complying with contact tracing guidance

As pubs and restaurants are re-opening all over the UK, both staff and patrons are slowly getting used to the so-called “new normal”. With new rules being implemented — such as temperature checks on entry, mandatory pre-bookings, and strict time slots — both pubs and patrons themselves have responded excellently to these new rules. One rule, however, which has caused a little bit of concern in regards to privacy (and admittedly garnered some ridicule) is the “contact tracing” data collection aspect of visiting a pub.

If you’re unaware of the rules around customer contact tracing, the gov.uk …


On the 26th of March 2020, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a “lifeline package of support” worth £9 Billion for the 4.9 million Self-Employed workers in the UK. While at first glance this might seem like the government are finally stepping up to support the Self-Employed, the reality is that the measures announced simply don’t go far enough and will lead to a lot of sole traders going out of business — here’s why.

“Self-Employed workers will receive up to £2,500 per month”

This isn’t quite accurate and makes it sound a lot better than what’s being offered. What you qualify for heavily depends on the Net Profit figure of…


One volunteer’s perceptions of the programme, and reasons for leaving.

I was National Protect Lead at CSCV (Cyber Specials Cyber Volunteers) from autumn 2017 until February 2019, when I resigned from both my role and my membership. Over the last 6 months I’ve been asked repeatedly why I left and about the current status of the programme. Each time I’ll give a slightly different, condensed, version of events — often missing key facts or important details due to the complexity of the issues and the length of time needing covered. …


More for you for less (privacy)

Thanks to the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) many companies had to change their policies and practices surrounding data collection and retention for the benefit of us all. Similarly, for the first time ever, many members of the public who were somewhat oblivious to the world of privacy, security, and data were suddenly questioning every company — large and small — on what data they had, why they needed more, and what purposes they’d use it for.

While a large number of companies seem to have thrown their excessive data collection practices under the bus (or…


I’ve written about terminology being misused in the past, and unverified advice being thrown around leading to damaging consequences, but there’s another worrying trend that I’ve stumbled upon. That is, of course, this shorthand of calling digital crime “hacks” and, even more worryingly, digital criminals “hackers”.

If you follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter you’ll probably have seen my recent… let’s call it an interaction… with a “Cyber Protect” officer. …


Start eating your own dog food.

Over the last year or two, I’ve seen a fairly disturbing trend in social media accounts (that are intended to promote online safety) making the general public less safe by promoting known bad advice or simply not following their own rules. If you follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn, you’ll no doubt have seen my many campaigns against bad safety advice that’s been floating around. …


Whether it’s browsing on social media, reading a newspaper, or listening to a talk, I’ve seen the threat of “Mishing” becoming far more severe in the last few years. In the beginning, I thought that it would lose traction and become less of a threat over time, unfortunately though, that’s simply not the case. If you’re unsure about what this new scam “Mishing” is, here’s a quick explainer:

Mishing — A combination of “marketing” and “phishing”. …


An often repeated piece of advice you might hear when it comes to doorstep crime is to put a “no cold calling” sticker or sign on your front door. The idea is pretty simple, and seems effective, if you assume that legitimate callers won’t knock and therefore any callers that do chap your door are very likely fraudsters. Unfortunately, much like the TPS loop holes, when you start to analyse a “no cold calling” policy, it ends up having more caveats than you might realise. Technically speaking, “cold calling” only applies to callers that have no prior relationship with the…


A big question on everyone’s mind, and one that I get asked almost weekly, is “how safe is contactless?”. Many people are rightly skeptical when it comes to new technology, especially after listening to one of my talks. With many banks now shipping contactless cards by default, and many shops now requesting that you pay using contactless, it’s a worthy consumer concern that should be addressed.

There is no *evidence* that contactless fraud exists

If you pick up the phone right now and speak to your bank, this is what they’ll tell you. And they’re right, there is no evidence that contactless fraud exists… but that doesn’t mean…


That’s why I built an app to show you

When giving talks, my go-to party piece is to use the text spoofer on either an individual audience member or the entire auditorium (I’m looking at you MBNA attendees). What’s great about this is that even if I’ve given text spoofing a huge introduction and explained the technicalities behind how it works – everyone reacts with surprise when I actually demonstrate it on their own phone. …

Scott McGready

Maker, breaker, fixer, faker. Trying to build a safer world. Trading Standards Scambassador, ScamAcademy tech expert, resident on @theradiohustle, also on TV.

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