Local cyber-attacks

It has been reported that Further Education and Higher Education institutions are being targeted by Ransomware. We have received updated alerts from Jisc and the NCSC confirming that the wave of attacks against educational institutions is at unprecedented levels.

Please be cautious – do not click links, download attachments, or provide sensitive information unless you are expecting them, and they are 100% legitimate.

Please watch the video and read on for more information on how to stay safe online.

Phishing

Phishing is a crime that involves luring an individual or group of individuals to provide sensitive data, such as bank details or passwords that allow the criminal to access important accounts.

You may be contacted by email, telephone or text message – Social Media Phishing is also on the rise by cybercriminals as a way of gaining confidential, sensitive information.

To protect yourself from falling victim to a phishing scam:

  • Always be cautious of all communications you receive, especially if you are not expecting it – do not click on links in an unsolicited email, text or direct message  
  • Never provide personal information online or over the phone unless you are 100% sure they are genuine – organisations such as banks will not request sensitive information via email, text or over the phone
  • Before entering personal information online make sure the web address starts with https://www and not just http://www
  • Be careful on social media – a post, tweet or direct message could come from someone you trust but their account might have been hacked (even those with a blue tick)

Email security

It is important to keep sensitive information in email communications and account secure against unauthorized access, loss or compromise.

Cybercriminals use email software to spread malware, spam and for phishing attacks. They send deceptive messages to encourage the receiver to provide sensitive information, open attachments or click on hyperlinks.

To reduce your risk you should:

  • Change passwords often and always create strong passwords
  • Never share passwords with anyone
  • Never open attachments or click on links in email messages from unknown senders
  • Use spam filters and anti-virus software
  • Try to send as little sensitive information as possible via email, and send sensitive information only to recipients who require it.