Last year, the amount of reported cybercrime increased again, according to the ENISA. As a business that works primarily online, we at October, feel responsible for informing you about cybercrime, and explaining how we fight cybercrime.
A popular type of cybercrime is phishing. It is a technique that aims to steal your personal data (bank information, passwords, identity, etc.). It is usually done through e-mail, where criminals pretend to be an official organization or institution, for example your bank, insurance, or even October.
In 2017, an average of 1.385 million unique phishing sites were created per month (websites created for the only purpose of stealing your data) according to the ENISA. An astonishing number, which makes it one of the top cyber threats in Europe. Besides being more frequent, phishing attempts have become more sophisticated as well. Some of these criminals have become so sophisticated that they are able to perfectly replicate an official website or e-mail, which makes it hard to distinguish it from real. On that website or e-mail they would ask you to sign in to your account or provide personal details, to be able to steal this data.
Although it gets more and more difficult to distinguish a replicated website or e-mail, you may be able to spot the following red flags:
- The message is written in poor language (sentence structure, strange choice of words, spelling mistakes, etc.),
- The message stresses the urgency of the request and threatens with negative consequences to create panic: “If you don’t log in now, your account will be deleted!!!”,
- The message is too good to be true: “Please fill in your personal details to get €5000,- added to your October account!!!”,
- No official e-mail address or browser link is used: [email protected] instead of [email protected].
- You are directly asked to provide personal information or passwords.
- Your password you will not share,
- Your payment details are for your eyes only,
- Your service provider you notify if you have suspicions on fraud,
- Your connection will be secure (Check the ‘lock’ in your browser),
- Your (anti-virus) software is up-to-date.
How does October help?
We are well aware of the fact that cybercrime is increasing throughout Europe. In fact, even our CEO has been the victim of identity theft, when someone created a Facebook account in his name and asked people to provide their bank account information. Fortunately, the fraud was discovered and neutralized before any damage was done.
To protect ourselves and our lenders as much as possible from cybercrime, we have taken several precautions. For example, our tech team organizes ‘friendly hacks’ to identify weaknesses in our security systems. Once a weakness is exposed, we quickly move to fix it. Also, all transactions that are made on our platform are secured by 2-factor authentication. In other words, you will be asked to confirm every transaction by a code sent through your phone. Finally, we only use our official, secured channels to communicate about personal information.
However, to prevent fraud we have to ask your help too. When using October please keep in mind the rules, but most importantly: contact our support when you see anything suspicious or think there is room for improvement.