In this week’s news, we report on a new Covid vaccine scam, new remote education requirements, steps to avoid getting hacked and more.
TOP NEWS THIS WEEK:
CORONAVIRUS VACCINE SCAM WARNING
Action Fraud warns that fraudulent texts offering Covid-19 vaccines have been circulating. Recipients are encouraged to click on a link leading to an online form which requests personal and financial information. This may look convincingly like a real NHS website.
Action Fraud reminds us that the vaccine is only available on the NHS and it is free of charge. The NHS will never ask for bank account or card details, your PIN or password or personal documents to prove your identity. They will not call at someone’s home to give them the vaccine, without prior warning.
You should hang up if you receive suspicious phone calls. For suspicious emails, forward to email@example.com and for suspicious texts, forward to 7726.
If you have been the victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud straight away by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
INCREASED HOURS FOR REMOTE EDUCATION DURING LOCKDOWN:
The Education Secretary has issued a press release relating to strengthened plans for remote education during the third lockdown. Schools will be expected to offer a set number of hours of high-quality, online classes and to assist them to do so, disadvantaged pupils will be provided with laptops and tablets. Schools are expected to have a digital platform and to provide some of their remote learning through video lessons which may be school-led or from providers like Oak National Academy. Ofsted will be in charge of monitoring schools to ensure they are offering quality remote learning.
During 2020 the government provided 560,000 of a promised one million devices in order to help schools and colleges with remote learning and the scale of deliveries is now being greatly increased with 100,000 planned deliveries last week.
GCSEs, AS and A Levels have been cancelled and Ofqual has been charged with consulting on a fair replacement and concluding this quickly in order to provide certainty for schools and students alike. A teacher assessed system is expected to be adopted.
Updated guidance for schools on the increased requirements for remote learning will be published by the Department for Education.
HOW TO AVOID GETTING HACKED
We recommend the article by the Deputy digital editor at WIRED which gives five suggestions on how to protect ourselves from the spate of phishing attacks and scams that have been launched by fraudsters during the pandemic. It suggests that what makes us most vulnerable to hacking is flaws in our own behaviour.
- The top recommendation is to use multi-factor or two-factor authentication wherever possible, especially for accounts that hold your personal information. The article contains a useful link to all the accounts that support this feature.
- Use strong and unique passwords for your accounts and a password manager to help you keep track of them. The article recommends two that have been tried and tested.
- Beware of phishing scams – be vigilant and sceptical of unexpected emails or messages with links or attachments. They are often designed to tempt or put you under pressure to respond quickly.
- Keep operating systems and apps updated on all of your devices including any smart devices you may have in your home. This ensures that you have the benefit of security updates that might otherwise leave you vulnerable.
- Delete your search history and old accounts to reduce your exposure to hacking. The article contains links on how to find old accounts and how to check if your data has been exposed in data breaches on the Have I Been Pwned? website.
This is only a quick summary. Why not read the article in full to learn how best to protect yourself.
JOE WICKS PE LESSONS
During the first lockdown last year, Joe Wicks also known as The Body Coach, launched his free PE lessons for children at home. He created challenges and fun ways to keep children active and the channel has now reached 2.64 million subscribers. The Body Coach has now announced that he is back for this third lockdown! His 20 minute workouts will be posted weekly again to offer more structure to the children and help them stay positive.
Watch the online PE lessons for children here.
Gooseberry Planet offers over 60 comprehensive lesson plans on all aspects of online safety for 5-13-year olds. Digital workbooks and fun, online games to reinforce learning make it ideal for teaching remotely. Our Guru Product has an in-depth video about online scams. Click here to find out more about Gooseberry Planet!