The internet is riddled with malicious links, trojans and viruses. Data breaches have become more frequent. When one click can cost thousands keeping yourself alert and safe online has never been more important.
We are aiming to help our readers become more cyber aware and secure. We compiled these security tips from our experience managing security events for businesses and professionals across Lancashire.
Keep Software Up to Date
Software patches are released issued when security flaws are discovered. Turn on automatic system updates for your devices Keep your web browser plugins like Flash, Java, etc. updated, better yet if you don’t need them then don’t install them in the first place!
Avoid Public Networks
You might be tempted to connect your devices to unsecured connection, it’s typically safer to only connect to private networks when possible, especially when handling sensitive information. The main hazard with public Wi-Fi is the fact that all the information you’re transferring is available to everybody on the network.
Secure Your Mobile Device
Security doesn’t end with your computer. It’s important to get into the habit of securing your presence through your mobile device as well. Use strong passwords and biometric features, ensure you turn off your Bluetooth and download with caution.
Stick to your own Devices
Try to limit using devices other then your own when possible. Never share your credentials with others and never give anyone other then your IT support remote access to your computer.
Don’t Leave your Devices Unattended
The physical security of your devices is just as important as their technical security. If you need to leave your computer, mobile phone or tablet for any length of time – lock it up so no one else can use it. Any portable devices such as mobile phones, tablets, oen drives, etc. should be encrypted
Backup Your Data
Storage doesn’t cost much, there’s no excuse not to have a backup copy of important data. Malicious threats don’t always want to steal your data, sometimes the goal is to erase or more commonly encrypt your data to hold to ransom.
Avoid Phishing scams
Beware of suspicious emails. Using various social engineering ploys, cyber criminals will attempt to trick you into divulging personal information such as your login ID and password, banking or credit card information.
Phishing scams can be carried out by telephone, text message, social networking or most commonly by email.
Be suspicious of any official-looking email message or phone call that asks for personal or financial information.
Install Anti-Virus Protection
Install anti-virus software from a known and trusted source. Keep virus definitions, engines and software up to date to ensure your anti-virus program remains effective against new threats..
Hackers use Social Engineering
Hackers don’t just rely on security vulnerabilities. Enter social engineering. This type of attack is more of an attack on the mind of the user, rather than on the device, to gain access to systems and information. With information publicly available online and over social media, cyber criminals come up with creative ways to scrape information and dupe users.
Use Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication is a service that adds an additional layers of security to the standard password identification. With two-factor authentication you would be prompted to enter an additional authentication method such as a Personal Identification Code, another password or even fingerprint. With multi-factor authentication, you would be prompted to enter more than two additional authentication methods after entering your username and password.
Avoid using Weaks Passwords
We all have too many passwords to manage and it’s easy to take short-cuts, like reusing the same password. A password manager can help you to maintain complex unique passwords for all of your accounts. These programs can generate strong passwords for you, enter credentials automatically and remind you to update your passwords periodically. Check out our other aricles on tips on avoiding weak passwords