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World  Focus on Politics  

In the UK and across Europe there is one major topic dominating conversations, both face-to-face and web based. In a similar vein the same is true in the US

Politics – by the time you read this the result of the UK General Election will be known and irrespective of the outcome it will be difficult to see much change. The UK system is so bound up in traditions and legislature that any deviation can only be minimal. Meanwhile in the US there is a feeling that the rule book has been thrown out as the new President fulfils all the hopes and dreads that accompanied his campaign. Treaties are being shredded. Former commitments are ignored as he drives forward his clarion cry “America First”. Which he clearly feels needs to be repeated several times in case his followers fail to grasp it the first time.

In the midst of all this there is one recent incident that has been overtaken in terms of space in the media.

It is one subject that has the potential to affect every single person reading this article.

Cyber crime.  The most common reaction to this is “Oh yes that well I don’t need to read about it. Nothing to do with me!”

But it is something to do with you.

Look at the recent well-publicised impact of what is termed “Ransomware” and compare it to the terrorist threat and the incidents in Manchester and London.

Just a few weeks ago, sitting in a room with a computer connected to the World Wide Web, a group of skilled comuter programmers pressed a few keys and within minutes some of the most vital aspects of our lives were under threat. There were no sword weilding maniacs. No religious cries. Just a few clicks on a keyboard.

So if you were waiting for an operation or in need of some important drugs or even just waiting for a pension payment to appear in your account, then yes, it does have something to do with you.

Do you still think that this has nothing to do with you?

These days the vast majority of the Western world is au fait with the wonders of the Internet and for many it has become an essential part of their lives.

Twenty years ago the first signs of the “on-line” culture were just emerging but few would have forecast such a stratospheric rise in its adoption. Today we all cherish our mobile phones which are rapidly becoming less important for making and taking phone calls.

Instead they are a portable filing cabinet in which we all store our entire lives.

They hold our personal details. Our relationships. Our private and public conversations. Our family album. And just in case the massive storage facility which we carry around with us proves insufficient, we can now use “The Cloud”. And no one bothers to ask what it is. Indeed when asked about it, most would gesture upwards and suggest that it is – “ . . a large storage facility in the air . . .  you know . . . in the clouds . .  that is why it is called “The Cloud!”

The Greek Crisis

What we are all doing, of course, is holding onto data that years ago would have been binned or possibly printed and stored in some archive – never to see the light of day again. So we “need” more storage. And because that storage is readily available we do feel the need to hold onto anything that we may “wish” to see at some distant point.

The consequence is that the more we store the more vulnerable we become. Why? Because increasingly we will provide a detailed insight into our lives in some remote facility and we will come to rely on third parties to provide that storage for us. When we allow our emails and other files to be held in some obscure location we never fear that they are ours and ours alone. Our password protects them.  

We take some comfort in the fact that most on-line services recommend that you change you password regularly. There is a myth that this aids your security. It does not. All it does is make the user feel safer. Unless you are using a military level encryption facility then your eight digit password (which must contain a uppercase character and a number or symbol) is no defence against a determined hacker.

Earlier this year the world was given a significant alarm call.

This was significant not because it was the first time it had happened but because everyone knew about it. Rather than it being an incident that occurred in the confines of some banking computer room, it was headline news in all forms of the Media.

Thereby lies the risk. If no one knows then the bank attends to it as quiety as possible and we are none the wiser.  

However . . . .

One security company suggests that a major bank could fail because of a publicised cyber attack. This is rubbished by the authorities but, behind the scare value, there are some valid warnings.  

Imagine the situation where the first news bulletin you hear says that your bank has been targeted and funds are being illegally withdrawn. What do you do?

It would take seconds for you to decide to log into your account and empty it. You do so along with every other account holder who heard the news and before long the bank is unable to meet its liquidity requirements.  

So what can we do?

I need more


We can help if you need if.

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“Worried about forgetting something important”?  

With your portfolio in the safe hands of CWM it is one item you need never worry about.

Article by “Tony Myles”

Cyber Crime

For the general public the watchword is Caution.

If you need any more information or assistance with any of this then do contact us at Continental Wealth and we can advise you. You should also be confident that we are employing the highest level of security at all stages in our operations and the safety of your data is our highest consideration.

If this sounds a bit far fetched then you may not be aware that in November last year Tesco Bank halted online banking after 40,000 current accounts were compromised and half of them were hit by fraudulent transactions by hackers over one weekend.

A total of £2.5m was stolen from 9,000 accounts.