The internet has been a benefit to us so much over the years, and has enriched our lives with unlimited information. However, every year millions of consumers are victims of cybercrime. According to a survey published in March 2021 from Gov.UK, “Four in ten businesses (39%) and a quarter of charities (26%) report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months.”

Your team needs regular reminders.  We suggest that you forward this to all of your staff if you are reading this and finding it helpful.

Cyber Criminals are becoming more intelligent at luring people in and getting you to click on links or an attachment. As we grow more dependent on technology, we constantly need to develop better online security defences. You need to recognise and be aware of cybercrime so that you become less vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Here is a reminder of the top seven internet safety rules that will help you avoid getting into trouble online:

  1. Setting strong passwords

Your password should be at least eight characters long and include a range of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. You should have a different password for all your accounts; this means that if even one of your accounts is hacked, your other accounts will not be at risk.

51% of people use the same password for both work and personal accounts, according to DataProt.  Do NOT do this!

  1. Be careful of what you download

One of the goals of a cybercriminal is to trick you into downloading either a programme or app that is carrying malware. The malware can be disguised as an app; it could be a popular game or something that checks the weather.

Don’t download anything that looks suspicious or comes from a site you don’t trust

  1. Verify requests for private information

If you are requested to provide private information, whether yours or someone else’s, verify the identity of who is requesting the data. Do this by phone – not via the method through which you were asked.  Cybercriminals are very clever in how they steal information and identities. Even if you think you are safe, it’s best to check your bank statements and credit card reports regularly.

  1. Password managers

They use encryption to protect your passwords. They have multiple features aimed at securing your passwords; some will remind you to change the passwords regularly and evaluate their strength. Using password managers is the most secure way to protect your passwords.

  1. Computers and mobiles devices up to date

The most up-to-date security software, web browser, and operating systems will help you have the best defences against any malware, viruses, or other online threats. Ensure you stay up to date with your operating system updates as they provide a vital layer of security.

  1. Keep it personal

As previously mentioned, Cybercriminals are becoming very clever, so it’s important to keep your social media profiles private. They can use your social media profiles to figure out passwords or the answers to your security questions. Lock down your privacy settings and be wary of requests to connect with people you do not know.  Never play the games that ask for your mother’s maiden name, your favourite colour, or the name of your pet.  These are trawling for common passwords.

  1. If it’s suspicious, report it

If you encounter any emails that you are not 100% sure about, do report them. Do not click anything within the email. The same goes for any websites you come across if you think you have landed on a fake website or think it is trying to scam you. Reporting a phishing email or a suspicious website will help protect many more people from being affected.  It is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.  Your IT department of IT company will likely have a ‘sandbox’ environment where these things can be checked.

If your business is not cyber security aware – please get in touch and book your free IT review.