We have probably all heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and perhaps thought of it as something that is a long way off for us in terms of daily interaction.
The fact is that AI is already here in the form of “bots” and if plans unveiled by Facebook at the recent F8 developer conference are anything to go by we’re about to be interacting a lot more with them in our daily lives.
The BBC reported recently on a ransomware scam that had been brought to the attention of their radio 4 ‘You and Yours’ programme.
Unfortunately, the scam dubbed ‘Maktub’ is making quite an impact at the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre ‘Action Fraud’ whose call centre is reported to have been receiving 500 calls about it daily from those affected.
Security firm Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report makes grim reading.
Not only is the UK the most targeted nation in the world for spear phishing attacks and social media scams, but it ranks second only to Germany for ransomware attacks. Spear fishing is a planned e-mail spoofing fraud attempt to get confidential data, and ransomware involves using malware to encrypt the victim’s data. There is then a request for money to the victim for the release of their own data.
One of the main methods of currency on the Web has long been the exchange of your personal contact details for information e.g. downloading or being emailed a report or link.
When we’re signing up to buy / rent products and services online we can also realistically expect to part with our precious contact details; a central component of that being our email address.
Even those companies calling us or wanting to speak to a colleague or loved one are also very keen to get hold of one particularly useful bit of information – an email address.
Whereas email addresses can make sense as part of a verification process, login, or password change there are of course some clear downsides to giving out our personal and / or work email addresses too freely, namely SPAM.