Hello all,

It’s been some time since our last update but something very exciting has happened and we wanted to share the news.

We’re very proud to announce that we’ve won Which? Trusted Trader of the Month for November 2018. You can read their article about us on their website here.

What makes it more special is that it’s a national award and we’re the first IT business to win it.  Big smiles all around.

Customers tell us that they’re reassured by the Which? branding and new customers can read genuine five-star reviews, giving them a chance to see what we’re like.

Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to leave a review on the Which? Trusted Trader website.  You can read more about the award here and also have a look at our reviews.

ToM-Nov-2018

Password Scams… again

Unfortunately, this blog isn’t all good news.  We’ve got a job for you.  We want a quick chat about a scam that’s growing in popularity.  In the last few weeks, different customers have been reporting emails that have a similar theme.  Here’s an example:

From: Webmaster 2424 
Sent: 10 November 2018 15:29 
To: fred@fred.com
Subject: password (fluffy) is compromised

Greetings,

I'm a hacker who cracked your email a few months ago.

You entered a password on a site you visited, and I intercepted it. Your password is: fluffy

So, when you had fun on adult websites I enabled your webcam to capture screenshots and combined them into a photo.

There will be laughter when I send these to your friends, however I'm sure you don't want it.

Therefore, I expect payment for my silence and I think $976 is an affordable price for it!

I give you 48 hours to make a payment otherwise your contacts will get the images from your dark life!

Be Quick.  Law Enforcement won't help you for sure.

At first glance it looks like a standard ‘send me your cash to prevent blackmail’ email.  The author claims that Fred has been caught in a compromising position by a hacked webcam and that photographic evidence is about to flung at his contact list.

Fred knows this is nonsense but the password listed in the email – fluffy – is a genuine password.

Somehow Fred’s password has made it into the public domain and because Fred hasn’t listened to WHICH? TRUSTED TRADERS OF THE MONTH, he had used ‘fluffy’ as his password for everything – email, Amazon, insurance, banking, gambling.

This means that potentially every account that Fred has, is at risk.  How did it happen?  A trusted company that Fred had an account with suffered a data breach and a kindly hacker pasted the company database to a website.  You may have read that this is becoming much more common.

Even if you choose a mind-bogglingly complicated password comprising of a billion binary digits, there is a reasonable chance that at some point it will be leaked online.

In the past we have recommended using password managers such as LastPass to help manage and organise things – we still do – but something else is much more urgent.  This is the first part of your homework.

Please, please, please.  Pretty Please. Don’t use the same password for more than one account.  Use unique passwords…which I know is a pain but nothing like as bad as trying to sew your digital integrity back together like poor Fred.

I don’t care if you write passwords in a book or tattoo them on your thigh but please take some time to think about the passwords you use and make the effort to make each one unique.

If you have unique passwords and one of them ends up online as a result of a data breach then you just have a single account to fix.  Easy Peasy.

Here is the second part of your homework.

Sign up to https://haveibeenpwned.com/  – it’s free and could save you a lot of time should the worst happen.

This website is administrated by a team of security researchers who collate the data leaked in online (and offline) security breaches.  If your email addresses are out there, this site will notify you and you can take the appropriate action.

Come and talk to us if you need some help.

New Member of Staff

At the end of October we were joined by Dolly, a new member of staff who is really developing our business in new markets – like catching balls and finding interesting things to sniff.

Dolly will be joining us on most days and has been trained to sniff out poor passwords and chase people that use the same ones more than once.