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Calling all sports fans: Get cyber secure before a summer of sport

UK’s cyber security experts encourage fans to protect their online streaming accounts ahead of a summer of major sporting events.


NCSC encourages fans to take steps to improve their cyber security in time for summer of sport. Including calls from BT who echo the advice about heightened security and vigilance to scams. As it has been reported that fraudsters are known to use current events to trick members of the public.


SPORTS fans are being encouraged by the UK’s cyber security experts to protect their online streaming accounts ahead of a summer of major events – beginning with the all-English UEFA Champions League Final.


Millions across the country are expected to livestream this Saturday’s final, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – is urging them to take steps to do so securely.


Hackers can break into streaming accounts if they use weak passwords that can be easily guessed or have been compromised in the past. The NCSC’s Cyber Aware guidance urges fans to make strong passwords up of three random words and save these in a browser to remove the burden of remembering them.


Once accounts are breached, hackers can use account holders’ information to make unauthorised payments or harvest data to use for phishing emails and scam calls.


To securely stream sports this summer, the NCSC recommends that fans;

  • Refresh account passwords: It’s a great time for fans to consider resetting their password. We’re increasingly seeing hackers use credentials stolen in past security incidents to hijack streaming accounts using the same compromised details. If you’re using the same password for your sports streaming accounts that you’ve used multiple times in the past – it’s time for a reset.

  • Set a strong password: The most important password is the one that belongs to your email. That password must be different from all your other accounts’ passwords. If a cyber criminal breaks into your email account, they’re able to change the passwords to your other accounts by abusing the “forgot your password” feature. To create strong passwords, we recommend making them up of three random words. These passwords can be stored in your browser so you don’t need to remember them.

  • Update streaming apps: Cyber criminals exploit weaknesses in apps to access your sensitive personal data. Providers regularly issue patches to these exploits in updates – you’re vulnerable without them so we urge every fan to make sure their streaming apps are updated. To make it simple going forward, we recommend turning on automatic updates.


NCSC Director of Policy and Communications, Nicola Hudson said:

“The UEFA Champions League final will kick off a great British summer of sport and those enjoying it online should be able to do so securely.
“If accounts aren't secure, it's really easy for criminals to access them and then proceed to target people with scam texts and emails.
“To help stay protected from this, we would urge people to visit cyberaware.gov.uk for advice on securing accounts and devices and the NCSC’s website for dealing with scam emails and texts.”

BT Managing Director of Security, Kevin Brown said:

“We’re delighted to be broadcasting the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final for everybody in the UK to watch, whether that’s on TV, via the BT Sport app, online or on YouTube – but we also want people to do so securely.
“As we’ve all become increasingly reliant on our online accounts over the past year, it’s more important than ever that we take simple steps to secure them.
“The Cyber Aware campaign continues to provide clear, straightforward advice around how we can all protect our accounts and the personal data they hold.”

With outdoor sporting venues opening their doors to fans this summer, the NCSC is also urging fans to be vigilant in the rush to purchase tickets.


By using the six key Cyber Aware steps, supporters will protect themselves from most cyber crime and be alert to online scams, including the selling of bogus tickets.


Anybody who thinks that they have received a scam email or text message can report this by forwarding suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and texts to 7726. The report will be investigated, and action will be taken against malicious content where found.

Reporting


Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).



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