According to the National Crime Agency cybercrime continues to rise in scale and complexity, affecting essential services, businesses and private individuals alike. From large scale ransomware campaigns, computer viruses, malware, and spyware, to reported accounts of social media and email hacking, the effects of cyber fraud can be devasting.
Everybody needs to be cyber secure, so it pays to review your cyber security measures here:
- Create a strong password. Attackers will try the most common passwords or use publicly available information to try and access your accounts. Avoid using predictable passwords which contain personal information such as dates, family, and pet names. Instead, the National Cyber Security Centre advise us to create a secure password using ‘three random words’. Longer passwords are better and it’s a good idea to strengthen further by adding different numbers and symbols.
- Use different passwords for different online accounts. Passwords are like keys, and multiple accounts using the same password will soon be at risk to cyber threats if one has already become compromised.
- Update your system. Always keep on top of performing system updates. Keeping your operating systems and apps fully updated helps fix any vulnerabilities or ‘holes’ and keeps the bugs at bay.
- Secure your devices. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers can be exploited both remotely and physically, so lock them down when not in use using a PIN, password, or fingerprint/face id. Also avoid downloading any apps which look suspect and only download from app stores such as Google Play or the Apple App Store, which provide some protection from viruses.
- Turn on Multi factor/Two factor authentication. This adds another level of security to online accounts, so if a password has become compromised it provides another barrier to help keep the criminals out.
- Review your Privacy Settings. Do you know what your online profiles say about you? Check and set parameters of how much information can be seen. This is especially important after a system update, which will sometimes reset these settings to default.
- Be vigilant to posts and messages. Think twice before automatic clicking! Be it a link, post, video, or photo, even if it appears to come from someone genuine, if it looks slightly odd, it’s more than likely their account has been hacked.
Phishing emails appear genuine but are they are sent from a bogus source. These fake emails may try and trick you into revealing sensitive information such or contain harmful links to a malicious website or infected attachment.
How to Avoid Being Phished:
- Be vigilant of suspicious emails or messages
- Avoid clicking potentially malicious links
- Do not respond to these emails
- Create a strong password
- Turn on two-factor authentication
Been phished? If you think your online account has been hacked report it at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Safety on Social
A daily dose of social media is the norm for us all. But how do we manage our digital footprint to successfully ensure our social safety?
What is my digital footprint?
Your digital footprint describes the entirety of the information which you post online, including photos and status updates. This is publicly available information which can be accessed by criminals to steal your identity or use it to make phishing emails seem more authentic.
- Think very carefully about the content your post and who has access to it. Each social channel has privacy options which you can fine tune to suit your desired level of security. Configure these options so that your content is only available to the people you want to see it.
- Only post what your followers and friends need to know and omit any unnecessary detail which could be useful for cyber criminals.
- Be aware of what friends, colleagues and others may say about you online.
Aimed specifically at business, the CPNI Digital Footprint Campaign has lots of helpful resources to help us understand the impact of our digital footprint.
If you require any help or guidance with your cyber security, you can also get in touch with one of our specialists on 01782 63077 or contact us here.