Avast News

NCSC launches new UK Cyber Aware campaign with Suspicious Email Reporting Service

Jaya Baloo, 23 April 2020

The UK’s National Cyber Security Center has launched the next phase of its Cyber Aware Campaign with new suspicious email reporting.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched the next phase of its Cyber Aware campaign, which aims to help individuals and small businesses protect themselves online. The campaign, led by NCSC in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the Home Office, has been running for a number of years, evolving in response to our online habits and the ever-changing threat landscape.

The latest addition to the project is the new Cyber Aware website and Suspicious Email Reporting Service, which allows members of the public to forward any emails they think are suspicious and potentially fraudulent. The system will then automatically check for anything malicious and where necessary take action. 

Cybercriminals are opportunists, and they’re shamelessly taking advantage of the current situation by preying on people’s worries and concerns to steal their money and data. At the beginning of April, the City of London Police reported a 400 per cent increase in COVID-19 related fraud within a month. Action Fraud also recorded total losses of nearly £970,000 due to COVID-19 fraud since the start of February[i]. I believe the Suspicious Email Reporting tool will be incredibly useful in helping law enforcement and industry to respond to emerging threats and help keep people safe.

Online safety is something I’ve always believed should be accessible to all, and one of the reasons why I joined Avast last year is because the business passionately upholds this view. We know it can feel scary or complicated to secure your digital life, but it shouldn’t be. We recently launched Cyberhood Watch, a partnership between Avast and the UK’s Neighbourhood Watch designed to mobilize senior and underserved members of the community towards cyber resilience and awareness. Both Cyber Aware and Cyberhood Watch are focused on giving simple, actionable advice so that everyone has a solid first line of defence against cybercrime, making it much easier for people to protect themselves.

Both initiatives are also intended to help people report cybercrime. According to research we carried out with more than 14,000 Neighbourhood Watch members, less than a third of those who’d fallen victim notified police, and 34% said they felt foolish and embarrassed when it happened to them. By equipping people with everything they need to take action, without them having to spend a lot of time or money, both Cyber Aware and Cyberhood Watch aim to help people feel safe and in control of their online lives.

The Cyber Aware campaign launching today is focusing on a series of key recommendations, including:

-        Backing up your data

-        Updating your devices

-        Turning on Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

We have lots of resources to help people apply these recommendations, including a toolkit soon to go live on our Cyberhood Watch page and various blog articles. To support the launch of Cyber Aware, we’ve selected some of our most relevant content below:

-       What is Cybercrime and how can you prevent it?

-       The Essential Guide to staying scam free

-       How to spot a suspicious email

-     Staying on top of software updates

-       How to Prevent Ransomware

For more info on Cyber Aware visit the new website here.

[i] https://www.ft.com/content/9800243b-9d2e-4b98-a6fd-bdc498da3ef9