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Cyber Security Advice for Farmers 

The increased use of email, online accounting tools, online payment systems as well as automated farming equipment means that its increasingly important for farmers and rural communities to look at their growing exposure to cyber risks and how they can protect themselves and their businesses.

The guide provides information on Updates, Backups, Lost/Stolen Devices, Malware, Passwords, 2 Factor Authentication and More.

The full guide is available to download at https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/cyber-security-for-farmers

Parcel Notification Scams

Threat: Criminals are targeting credit card numbers via fake delivery notifications from national postal systems. An increase in this type of attack has been seen in the UK since 2020 where criminals steal personal information from the victim, specifically credit card numbers.

A total of 279,308 phishing URLs were detected between 1 December 2020 and 10 January 2021. The subjects of the emails coax a sense of urgency, such as “There is an issue with your package” or “Your package could not be delivered”.

What you can do:

Don't click untrusted links. Think C.A.U.S.E:

Current Events – Criminals often exploit current news stories, big events or specific times of year to make their scam seem more relevant

Authority – Is the sender claiming to be from someone official (bank, doctor, mail service or government)? Criminals often pretend to be important people or organisations to trick you into doing what they want

Urgency – Are you told you have limited time to respond (24 hours for example) or immediately. Criminals often threaten you with fines or other negative consequences

Scarcity – Is the message offering something in short supply (concert tickets, money or a cure for a medical condition)? Fear of missing out on a good deal or opportunity can make you respond quickly

Emotion - Does the message make you feel panicked, fearful, hopeful or curious? Criminals often use threatening language, make false claims of support or tease you into to wanting to find out more