Latest News from BPCA

04 September 2017

A bug in the system: protect yourself from cybercrime

With high profile and sophisticated digital crimes making the headlines weekly, Associate Member Cliverton team up with BPCA to give you some practical tips for staying safe on the web.

Cyber security

There’s a new type of pest on the block and this one is 100% resistant to all insecticides. No matter the size of your business, every pest management company should be aware of cyber bugs that can affect your company and cost you a fortune.

Individuals, whether criminal by intent or simply curious, mischievous or misguided, now have the potential to cause harm to us all. We are now being targeted to plant malicious software on our computers that will allow thieves to steal money from our bank accounts and personal data.

Nick Alston CBE, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex Police, in the Harlow Business Life Magazine.

Here are the key areas of danger that you need to be aware of:

Free WifiFree wifi

It is becoming more and more common to have free wifi inside shopping centres. As tempting as it is to connect to this, cyber-criminals will see the free wifi spots as a great opportunity to access credit card data and other personal information.

Many smartphones are designed to connect to any free available wifi. This means that, without your knowledge, your phone could connect to an unknown source and your sensitive data could become vulnerable. The most effective way to prevent this happening is to turn off the wifi on your phone whenever it is not needed.

Phishing scams

Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails reporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, online.

It is estimated that one billion phishing emails are sent every day worldwide. It is estimated that 50% of these emails are opened and 10% of the links contained in them are being accessed. These links could contain malware or take you to a fake website with the intention of stealing your data. Over time hackers have learned what entices people to click on links. An example of this is a bank demanding urgent information to prevent charges. Many people would not hesitate to act upon an email like this and could accidentally give access to a hacker.

If an email seems suspicious, pick up the phone and check that it is real. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

USB driveUSB drives

Another common scam involves a criminal leaving a USB drive in a public place, such as a train, in the hope that somebody will pick it up and insert it into their computer drive, giving the thief access to their system.

USB drives handed out at exhibitions or seminars are not always guaranteed to be safe so it is urged that you set barriers in place to ensure that attaching an unapproved external device does not leave you vulnerable.


It is recommended that your accounts all have different passwords and usernames to keep them better protected. It is very important that you regularly keep an eye on all of your accounts. This will enable you to take prompt action if you notice any irregularities.

This article was produced with BPCA Associate Member, Cliverton, a specialist insurance company that offers specialist cover for animal related industries – including pest management


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