There has been an increase in the number of scam emails linked to the coronavirus outbreak. We would urge you to read our advice below and remain hyper-vigilant with your cybersecurity.
Digital technology helps farming businesses to become more efficient and virtually every farmer will use at least one online service to run their business, whether it’s online banking, digital accounting systems, BCMS, ScotEID or even just email. We know a lot about the physical security risks on the farm and take steps to stay secure, but most of us know far less about staying safe in the digital age. Technology can be a great asset to the business but to get the most out of it you need to feel confident about using it safely.
Our top tips are:
- Don’t underestimate the value of a strong password!
- Passwords should be unique for each site, changed regularly and contain special characters, numbers – consider using 3 random words.
- Consider using a password manager.
- Always be suspicious of emails, phone calls or text messages asking you to do something.
- Never open emails, do internet banking, or take calls purporting to be from your bank or other organisations unless you can devote 100% of your attention to it – don’t multi-task!
- Get in touch with a local computer engineer so that you know who you’ll contact if your system is attacked.
- Never transfer money to a supplier whose bank details have only been provided to you on email – always seek secondary verification, e.g. by phoning them to check.
The following practical guides were created by the Farm Advisory Service:
- Is your computer fit for purpose
- Protecting your personal information on line
Did you miss our Farming in the Online Age: Staying Safe events? The presentation can be accessed here.
Further information is available from the National Cyber Security Centre, these publications are particularly helpful:
- NSCS Glossary
- NSCS: Cyber Security Small Business Guide
- NCSC: Password Guidance
- Public Wi-fi – Do you really know how to use safely?
- Social Engineering Red Flags
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