CERT NZ warns of the "business email compromise" scam

Cyber security logo with padlock: CERT NZ and the compromised business email scam

Earlier this month CERT NZ ran Cyber Smart Week, an awareness campaign about cyber security. CERT NZ is a government agency working to improve cyber safety in New Zealand. As the "first responders" of NZ's cyber security landscape, they receive reports of online threats from businesses, organisations and individuals. Working alongside other agencies - both local and international - CERT NZ use their knowledge of NZ's digital environment to provide support and advice for dealing with, and preventing, cybercrime.

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Two-factor authentication - stop hackers at the gate

Cyber-hacker wearing hoodie working on laptop behind closed iron gates

Passwords - they are both the saviour and bane of our modern world. We all want and need to protect our data, however the barrage of sites, apps and devices requiring unique and hard-to-guess passwords is frankly overwhelming. Most people will have experienced the frustration of being locked out of their own accounts by forgetting a login or password.

The common temptation to use an simple password, and then re-use it across many sites, puts us at high risk of cyber-attacks. Once obtained, this password will be all a hacker needs to access our digital lives, including identity and banking information. This is where two-factor authentication comes in.

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Vodafone emails shut down 30 November - make the switch now!

Email '@' symbol made up of many tiny web icons on red background, with Vodafone logo in top left corner

Vodafone has announced it will close its email service down on 30 November 2017. They declared their "email service is no longer delivering the sort of experience [their] customers need today".

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Close-up of digital screen show blue padlock icons, binary code lines, and words like 'protection', 'data', and 'security'

A warning about scams claiming to be from Inland Revenue

Inland Revenue have recently released a scam alert on their website, advising of the latest methods being employed by scammers to try and obtain customers' personal information.

The most common methods used by fraudsters to collect someone's personal information are e-mail, SMS (text message) and phone scams. These include phoning and claiming to be from Inland Revenue, or sending an e-mail or SMS that appears to come from Inland Revenue or a tax refund agency.

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Gone phishing - how to spot a scam before it spots you!

Rustic wooden 'Gone Phishing' plaque mounted on a horizontal plank with twisted wire

Scammers are becoming increasingly more prevalent and sophisticated. They are wily, savvy, and keep up-to-date with technology developments and media platforms so they can find new and cunning ways to illicit funds from unsuspecting victims. And just as people become alert to one scam, you can bet another one follows closely behind.

You may think you have the best security systems, firewalls and anti-virus software in place, however most scams rely on people. The term 'social engineering' refers to scammers trying to deceive and manipulate people into letting their guard down - clicking a link, opening an attachment, or other similar actions which are often performed without a second thought. Sadly, scammers rely heavily on people being trusting, helpful and naive, so a certain level of cynicism works in your favour when it comes to online security.

Here are some tips on identifying a scam, and helpful tricks to keeping you and your business safe:

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Part 4 of our blog article series: "Strategies for business success"

In today's world, smartphones, tablets and similar devices are virtually everywhere. We enjoy unprecedented levels of connectivity and access to information from wherever in the world we happen to be - news is now available live and streamed in real-time; e-mails can be read on the go; it's possible to Google the answer to almost any question you can think of; catch up on TV shows when waiting at the doctor's office; video chat with friends overseas while you sit in your favourite cafe enjoying a morning coffee.  Or, like most people, use it primarily to scroll through Facebook!

From a business perspective, if you have a tablet or smartphone you already possess the right tools needed to shorten your sales cycle and boost your bottom line. From CRM apps, to invoicing and payment technology, there's a mobile solution available for your small business that can make it easier to convert inquiries into prospects, and nurture prospects into customers.

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