Paul Mirage introduced this morning’s proceedings by inviting members to bring along their literature and pop up banners (standard size only!).

He went on to introduce Jennie Williams from the NW Regional Organised Crime Unit (used to be known as Titan) which is a collaboration of 6 North West police forces focused primarily on fighting organised crime.

Jenni went on to explain that Cyber dependant crime is classed as a crime using a computer such as hackings, trojan’s, Bonnets, Malware and (D)DOS.

Whereas cyber enabled crime – are traditional crimes that have now been made easier with the use of the computer, e.g. bullying, fraud, trafficking, drugs and sexual offences.



Top threats include:

Phishing – Typically involves receiving an email asking you to click on a link or fill in a form. An easy way to check is to see where the email has come from and check the email address. But criminals are getting better and changing this. You can also receive texts and WhatsApp messages containing ransomware or phishing.

Remember – If it sounds too good to be true it normally is.

Ransomware – Is when you receive an email with an attachment or link which has viruses embedded in them. A pop up will request a ransom to receive your files back.

A good site to look at is

Tip – Have a backup that is not connected to your computers/network

 The most recent government initiative is Take 5 before you action, whether it is 5 seconds or 5 minutes before you respond and encourage you to follow these steps:

  • Never disclose your security details
  • Don’t assume
  • Don’t be rushed
  • Listen to your instincts
  • Stay in control

Be wary of using free Public Wi-Fi:

All information sent from your device whilst using public Wi-Fi can be read as plain text. The police advice is that it is fine for browsing the internet, but don’t sign into your emails or use your passwords or log into your online banking, as you would with your home Wi-Fi or work Wi-Fi.

Whereas both 3G and 4G are safe to use when out and about. If you need to use public Wi-Fi  more often download a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which will protect your information as it is easy for criminals to set up a public Wi-Fi in a coffee shop to gain access to your information.




  • Current or former employees
  • Business competitors
  • Friends or family clicking on things
  • USB sticks which could contain malicious software

Are all potential threats to your business. Use Dropbox accounts to share files, have limited access to your files and be aware of what your staff are doing and have access to.

Passwords – Never use any of the following or equally as simple:


Use a pass phrase over a password – You can then change it for each area and if you do need to write it down, you can do so just don’t label it passwords or stick it to your computer!

Tip – You can use to check that your email address has not been accessed, including any old email addresses.


They are there for a reason, whether it be on your phones, device or computer, ensure you run the updates when advised to.

Remember to – Educate staff with the take 5 rule, to run updates and ensure their antivirus software is up to date.

Other useful bodies to look into include:

CISP – Cyber Information Sharing Partnership

For businesses to share emails and warnings to others e.g. a phishing email you have received.

Cyber Essentials Scheme

A government scheme which lists the procedures you should implement in your business to ensure you are cyber aware, the questionnaire is free but the accreditation is £300.

NCSC advice – free advice to download and share with staff including a cyber security small business guide.


If something does go wrong – report to Action Fraud as early as possible and with as much information as possible.

To finish this morning’s seminar, Angela from Prevent Breast Cancer spoke to remind us of their “Paint Altrincham Pink” which runs from Sunday 24th February until Sunday 3rd March. So far over 21 companies have committed to take part.

Raffle draw winner:

Meal for two – Rob Taylor from Reedsmore

Upcoming events:

Thurs 7th March Breakfast Matters with Jo Cherrett of Trafford Leisure giving overview of new facilities and investment.

Myerson mixer evening is taking place on Thursday 21st March at 17:45 discussing all things Brexit ready for the 29th March!


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