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Cyber security and our use of social media for scam awareness

Published: 05/01/2022
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Cyber security remains a top priority for the council. As a result of the pandemic, personal data has become a high-level target for cyber criminals with the number of scams and phishing attacks increasing.

A variety of scams have circulated over the last 24 months involving COVID-19 vaccines, courier redelivery charges, dubious calls that mimic a victim’s own mobile number and TV License scams that frequently attempt to trick users into giving away personal or bank details.

These are just a handful of scams that we’ve witnessed being in circulation during the pandemic and our social media channels have become a crucial tool in warning our residents and businesses once these scams are identified.

With a combined reach of over 40,000 followers across our Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor platforms, we’ve been able to quickly signpost users to countermeasures and explain the severity of these scams thanks to the help of our partners including the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Kent County Council Public Protection, Action Fraud and Kent Police.

Internally, this is a top priority too. Officers working in conjunction with our I.T department regularly send out communication awareness via the council’s intranet platform.

This includes communication regarding new and emerging cyber threats or scams, raising awareness of cyber security in general and signposting staff to the council’s mandatory cyber security training modules, which have been developed in association with the NCSC.

This training helps to reduce staff engagement with phishing attacks and to heighten awareness on topics such as passwords, scams, internet security and email accounts – all of which builds awareness so that officers can then assist residents and businesses in the event of any cyber security related incidents that take place.

For further information on staying safe by being cyber aware and to keep yourself and your family protected, visit the National Cyber Security Centre.