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Trustees should be aware of the risks of ransomware attacks

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The Charity Commission has reminded Charities of the need to follow the protection advice issued by the City of London Police and National Cyber Security Centre.

The key protection messages for all charities are as follows:

•Install system updates on all devices as soon as they become available.

•Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.

•Create regular backups of your important/business critical files to a device that is not left connected to your network, as any malware infection could be spread to that too.

•Do not meet any stated demands and pay a ransom - this may be requested via Bitcoins (a form of digital or ‘crypto’ currency).

•Any email address can be spoofed - do not open attachments or click on the links within any unsolicited emails you receive, and never respond to emails that ask for personal/charity information or financial details.

•The sender’s name and number in a text message can be spoofed - so even if the message appears to be from an organisation you know of, continue to exercise caution, particularly if the texts are asking you to click on a link or call a number.

The Charity’s most valuable asset, its reputation, can be severely compromised by a cyber-attack and trustees should report suspected or known fraud incidents to the Charity Commission as well as Action Fraud.