With Easter approaching some timely advice from 'Know Risk' (before you buy those on-line egg!).
We all love to do a bit of online shopping and according to recent statistics compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, three out of four internet users regularly purchase goods online. And with our propensity for digital bargain hunting set to increase year upon year, there also comes a greater chance of potential attack and exploitation.
Here are five of the most common threats that you face when shopping online and some ways to combat them:
1. Seasonal email phishing scams Scammers know that you’ll probably have your eye out for emails chock full of high sales, last minute discounts or even parcel tracking information. This makes it a very good time for them to launch some seasonal phishing scams to try and lure you to malicious sites or malware.
Some of the most common malicious emails during the holidays are fake FedEx or DHL messages claiming a delivery failed, fake credit card warnings or bogus sales. These emails will look legitimate but will often contain malware or a ransomware variant such as a rather nasty one called Cryptolocker which poses as FedEx, DHL or even Australia Post and has already cost many people a lot of money. The best way to prevent this type of attack is to avoid clicking links and attachments in unsolicited emails.
2. Fake product giveaways Every year the holiday shopping bonanza brings us at least one or two “must-have” items for the holiday season, whether they are the brand new LEGO set or the latest gaming console. Cyber criminals do their research and know which items are going to be popular before they hit the market, so use them to lure unsuspecting victims into their trap.
This year, scammers are using the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to try and steal personal information from victims by tricking them into filling out details to win one of these next-generation consoles.
Of course, there’s always the chance one of these giveaways might be legit, but you should be careful where you share your information, and what type of information you’re willing to give up.
3. Dastardly Digital Downloads During the festive season, hackers will rely on some classic tricks, such as the free Christmas screensaver, ringtone, or e-card offer. In such cases, the adage “if it sounds too good to be free, it probably is” is one you should always fall back on and be careful what you download.
4. Fraudulent e-commerce sites Cybercriminals have become more sophisticated and setting up a fake website is a cinch for them to do. There are a tonne of fake banking sites, social networking sites and even online shopping stores that look just like the real thing but are designed to leverage your trust and steal your personal information, such as your credit card number, or force you into a drive-by download malware infection.
When visiting sites, always pay close attention to the domain names you visit, and double check any online retailers before ordering from them.
5 Booby-trapped Ads and Blackhat SEO Cyber baddies are always looking for new ways to get you to come to their dodgy websites. While phishing emails, instant messages, and social network posts with appealing links work, there’s always something new to lure people in.
Two popular new things to watch out for are malicious online ads and search engine optimisation (SEO) tricks. They cleverly buy online ad space or hack online ad systems putting their fake advertisements on legitimate websites, which redirect back to malicious sites. They also use various SEO tricks to get their websites to show up in the top results for popular searches.
While criminals are getting smarter and using better techniques, using these tips will help combat them and allow you to shop online with a piece of mind.
Know Risk is a community education program designed by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) to improve our understanding of insurance and how it relates to managing the many risks we all face in life.
Courtesy of the Portner Press Health and Safety Bulletin comes the story of 'an unguarded moment (Who out there remembers 'The Church') costing an employer $75,000 in Fines alone.
Four items feature regularly in workplace health and safety accidents – forklifts, ladders, quad bikes and angle grinders.
Today, we feature a serious accident cause by an unguarded angle grinder.
Mr Steven Zappia, an employee of Carroll Springs Pty Ltd (Carroll Springs), was using an unguarded angle grinder with an oversize disc when he was struck on the left shoulder and face by the cutting disc, causing an 8cm long gash on his face and a fractured cheekbone.
When the accident occurred, in May 2015, Mr Zappia was beneath a Toyota Landcruiser removing metal brackets with the angle grinder in order to fit a new suspension spring kit.
He was sitting down on the ground with his arms outstretched at approximately head height. He was wearing safety glasses and was holding the angle grinder approximately 40 cm in front of his face when the angle grinder either kicked back or the disc shattered.
The impact caused a deep laceration (in some areas down to the bone) on the left side of Mr Zappia's face and a fractured cheekbone. The cut ran from the corner of Mr Zappia's eye to the bottom of his cheek.
He was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he underwent surgery on his facial wound.
Mr Zappia returned to work approximately four weeks later on a graduated work plan. He resigned from the company later that year.
The angle grinder
The angle grinder was meant to be fitted with a cutting disc no larger than 125mm diameter, but was fitted with a 150mm disc, which was rated for a slower speed (10,200rpm max). The grinder had a safety label on it stating to use accessories rated at least 12,000 min/RPM.)
The larger disc could be fitted because the grinder’s guard had been removed by a former employee, before Mr Zappia had begun working for Carroll Springs.
Mr Zappia testified that he did not know where the guard was located. He also said there were no 125mm discs for the angle grinder in the workshop at the time of the incident and that the 150mm disc that was on the angle grinder was the only option available for that grinder, although the workshop manager contested this statement.
At the time of the incident Carroll Springs had not developed and implemented a safe system of work for the use of angle grinders or how to select the correct grinding or cuttings discs for angle grinders. Also, manufacturer's instructions for the angle grinder were located in a drawer in the supervisor's office at the premises and were not readily accessible to workers.
Prior to the incident the company conducted general inspections of the workplace every two to three months to identify safety hazards but did not include an individual inspection of each power tool. At the time of an inspection of 31 March 2015, the angle grinder was kept in a locked cupboard away from where the tools were normally kept and therefore was not inspected.
Lack of safety management
The company’s lack of a safety management system was criticised by the judge, including:
He found the offender’s level of culpability was in the upper end of the low range.
The company’s owner expressed deep regret and remorse that the incident occurred and cooperated fully with SafeWork and continued to have an involvement with SafeWork through the Mentor Program and the Leadership Forum.
Carroll Sprints, having a previous good health and safety record, was convicted and fined $100,000 (reduced to $75,000 for an early guilty plea) and was ordered to pay the prosecutors’ costs. The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $1.5 million.
Learning from other’s mistakes
Not providing a safe workplace can be costly, but it can also have other ramifications on the business if a worker is injured.
Apart from hefty fines, output can be reduced or work can stop altogether. Morale can plummet and attracting or keeping the best workers can also be difficult if they believe your workplace is not safe or that you, as an employer, do not rate their safety highly.
Some interesting and timely advice courtesy of Vero and Fire Protection Association Australia.
A best practice guide to replacing services currently provided by the existing copper network. Please see 1 page summary here.
Apparently the NBN does not work during a power failure so it is important that an alternative monitoring solution is in place to ensure reliability.
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