No matter how effective – or expensive – the security tools protecting your network are, there’s no way to predict the damage caused by a single careless user.
The war against cyber criminals is fought each time a user decides to click an unfamiliar link or open an
attachment – and just a single mistake could be the reason for massive data loss.
To help businesses meet some of the challenges, we’ve compiled a list of things your users should be
thinking about whenever they’re using the Internet. They’ve probably heard many or all of these tips
before, but repetition doesn’t hurt. And if you’re smart, you know that there’s no substitute for educating
your users. Share this list with your users, this month – and every month.
Read our Top Ten Cyber Security Tips
1. Realise that you are an attractive target to hackers. Don’t ever say “It won’t happen to me.”
2. Practice good password management. Use a strong mix of characters, and don’t use the same
password for multiple sites. Don’t share your password with others, don’t write it down, and
definitely don’t write it on a post-it note attached to your monitor.
3. Never leave your devices unattended. If you need to leave your computer, phone, or tablet for any
length of time – no matter how short – lock it up so no one can use it while you’re gone. If you keep
sensitive information on a flash drive or external hard drive, make sure to lock it up as well.
4. Always be careful when clicking on attachments or links in an email. If it’s unexpected or suspicious for any reason, don’t click on it. Double check the URL of the website the link takes you to: bad actors
will often take advantage of spelling mistakes to direct you to a harmful domain. Think you can spot
a phoney website? Try a Phishing Quiz.
5. Sensitive browsing, such as banking or shopping, should only be done on a device that belongs to
you, on a network that you trust. Whether it’s a friend’s phone, a public computer, or a cafe’s free
WiFi – your data could be copied or stolen.
6. Back up your data regularly, and make sure your anti-virus software is always up to date.
7. Be conscientious of what you plug into your computer. Malware can be spread through infected
flash drives, external hard drives, and even smartphones.
8. Watch what you’re sharing on social networks. Criminals can befriend you and easily gain access to
a shocking amount of information – where you go to school, where you work, when you’re on
vacation – that could help them gain access to more valuable data.
9. Offline, be wary of social engineering, where someone attempts to gain information from you
through manipulation. If someone calls or emails you asking for sensitive information, it’s okay to
say no. You can always call the company directly to verify credentials before giving out any
10. Be sure to monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. If you see something unfamiliar, it
could be a sign that you’ve been compromised.
Chris Champion – Champion Information Services
Chris provides IT support services to SMEs; specialising in protecting businesses against cybercrime. He utilises a system called Cyber Essentials. This is a process that was introduced by the government in 2014 after collaboration with the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) and several leading Cyber Crime institutions. It outlines some key points that companies can put in place to ensure that they are doing everything they can to be secure.
t: 01604 603930