Which? response and security advice to NHS cyber attack

Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:

“Widespread cyber attacks like this one make consumers worry about their own online security.

“The Government currently doesn’t think patient data has been accessed but if you are concerned, there are things you can do to try and protect yourself from fraud.

“We advise you install the latest update for your anti-virus software, use a strong password that is changed regularly, be mindful when online and don’t attempt to open or download email attachments from a suspicious sender.”

Which? advice

  1. Install anti-virus software – Make sure you have decent anti-virus security software installed. Some even include safe browsing tools and link scanners that can stop you clicking on dodgy web sites that could infect your computer and steal your banking password.
  2. Keep your computer and phone up to date – Every time an update comes along, either for Windows or Mac, Adobe Acrobat, Java or whatever applications you have installed, install them. It’s estimated that 90% of successful hacks are a result of someone forgetting to install an update.
  3. Passwords – it’s important you change your password regularly. One easy way to fix that is to use a ‘password vault’. This is a software application or service that manages your passwords for you. It creates complicated, unique passwords for you, then manages the log-in process for you.
  4. Watch out for phishing emails – If the email has a scary tone – ‘your account has been hacked’, ‘urgent action required’, ‘click here immediately to check if these transactions are fraudulent’ then there’s a high chance it’s a phishing scam. If you’re worried, phone your bank or the retailer involved using the number you usually use. Just make sure you don’t click on the links.