Cyber security is a serious issue that affects all businesses, big and small. As it is Cyber Security Awareness Month, we have put together a list of ten tips for all staff and organisations to ensure business and personal information (as well as data) is kept secure and safe in numerous situations.
Beware of phishing emails
Do not reply to, follow links or open attachments from any unexpected or suspicious emails, even if it’s from someone you recognise. If in doubt, check the source first and make sure the sender is genuine. Check out this article on how to identify a phishing email.
Stay safe on public Wi-Fi
Always check the Wi-Fi you’re connecting to is from a legitimate source. (For an in-depth guide to this, check out Staying safe on public Wi-Fi).
Hackers can set up fake ‘evil twin’ hotspots in public areas e.g. your local coffee shop, which look legitimate. However, once you’re logged on they can steal your passwords, data and infect your device with viruses or malicious software.
Posting on social media
Be careful about what you share on social media sites. Information on you, your family, friends and workplace can be used to socially engineer a phishing attack.
It is also important to consider what you're inadvertently 'giving away' with your social media posts - could a post about a customer be seen as a breach of confidentiality or provide information to a competitor?
Be sure to use different passwords for different accounts. Otherwise, a hacker who has discovered one password can easily access data from multiple sites.
Strong passwords need to be as long as possible and contain upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Password managers are available online, but be sure to check they are reputable and secure.
“Why would they hack me?”
Remember, you are a target, regardless of who you work for. Don't assume your job or place of work is not important or relevant enough for Cyber criminals to be interested in you. Everyone who has a computer account either for business, personal or both is a potential target.
Security when working from home
To make sure your home network is kept secure, take steps to:
- Use a strong encryption key
- Never leave the network 'open'
- Do not share keys or passwords with neighbours
- Change any default supplied passwords
Lock it down
No matter where you are working from, make sure you lock your computer screen when not in use or when you are away from it. It is also advisable to have an automatic lock system on your device, so that it will lock after a certain amount of time.
Up keeping updates
Regular security updates to your computer operating system are vital to ensure the latest bug fixes have been issued to update and fix any potential vulnerabilities. Do not run unsupported or out of date versions of an operating systems or applications, as these will not receive these updates.
If you want to access work emails and information on your mobile phone, ensure your device has a pin, pattern or password set up. Try to use 3G or 4G internet access where possible to avoid insecure Wi-Fi networks.
What are you plugging in?
Before plugging a USB memory stick or other removable media into your device, think about where it has come from. Only use encrypted media and ensure it has come from a trusted source, as viruses and malware can easily be spread this way.
These tips are a few handy ways to ensure protection in a variety of different scenarios.