We here at Under One Cloud wish you a happy, healthy Christmas!

It’s been another one punctuated by the shadow of the pandemic, so we sincerely hope that you and yours are able to have a wonderful break together and have some precious time away from the stresses of the outside world!

Of course, as IT people, we are conscious of the online threats that, unfortunately, will be circulating this Christmas. The latest research from Ofcom has found that 45million people in the UK have been in receipt of some sort of fraudulent text or call intended to scam since the pandemic began… that’s almost three quarters of the population! Sadly its still on the rise, and that’s not even to mention the avalanche of emails sent to scam our businesses.

If you receive a text/call/email that seems in anyway suspect, we urge you to think carefully about the possibility that it is a scam… remember the golden rule: if it smells off, it probably is!

Cybercriminals are acutely aware of how to push people’s buttons and play on emotions to stop people thinking carefully about what they are clicking on. You may get a text from the ‘council’ telling you you are being fined for not paying your council tax, or your ‘bank’ telling you that you have been the victim of fraud and you need to ‘click this link’, only to be sent to a fraudulent site, where they can capture your personal financial details and your bank can be cleared out before you even realise what has happened!

Delete these types of messages immediately. Remember this: if there really was an unpaid bill or a problem with your account, you would get a call from the relevant authorities, which would be subject to security checks, or a letter through the post. You would certainly never get a text from a random mobile number you’ve never seen before.

A particularly pernicious scam circulating at the moment is when a ‘member of your family’ contacts you to tell you they have a new mobile number, and will deploy some cunning ways to deflect you from asking too much before placing your trust in them. The conversation will inevitably lead to the subject of money and the scam is afoot! This one is everywhere at the moment, so please if this happens to you, confirm you know who you are talking to, and they are who they say they are before engaging with them anymore.

Likewise you may get an email from someone you think you know and the header even says its from a family member, colleague, or business contact. Please get into the habit of not just glancing at the header of the email and thinking all is well; it may not be. Always check the actual email address and domain, to verify they are who they say they are. You may look at the header and think its your boss trying to get some basic info from you, to get a few jobs done over Christmas, only to see the actual email address is one from a scammer trying to catch you off guard as you’re trying to enjoy your Christmas.

We sincerely hope none of the above happens to you, and you can simply shut off from the world and enjoy the things that really matter! Cybercriminals will have other ideas for how you are going to spend the holidays, and we want to deny them the satisfaction!

With that in mind, if you have any questions or concerns, or need further advice, don’t hesitate to call/ email us. Our goal is to help keep you safe and your Christmas unspoiled.

Until next year,

All the best from the Under One Cloud Team!