How to stay safe online
With an increase in internet usage over the past weeks, cybercrime is unfortunately at an all-time high. It is now more important than ever to be aware of your online practices to ensure online security. That’s why we have compiled our ten top tips for ensuring that your business and your staff are safe online.
- Be careful what you click on
It is a common assumption that malware is only found on the dark web when, in fact, hidden malware can be anywhere. When clicking on any link, whether it be from an email sent or on a website you’re visiting, be sure to check that it is a trusted source. Of course, having a top-notch security solution will assist you with this.
- Use strong passwords
We recommend a different password for each login for optimal online security. Each one should consist of a minimum of 10 characters with a combination of numbers and symbols as well as uppercase and lowercase letters. It is best to avoid using personal information for your password.
- Only enter your details on a secure website
How do you know a website is secure? It’s easy. All safe URLs will have a padlock in the left-hand side of the address bar which marks the website as safe. Another fail safe tip is to check that the website address starts with https as opposed to http. This shows that the website has a security certificate in place.
- Keep an eye out for the latest scams
Online scams change at a rapid rate, so it is important to keep an eye on the news to be aware of the latest scams doing the rounds. Our IT experts will be happy to help with this.
- Always use a firewall
Whether you’re working in the office or from home, it is important to always use a firewall for your online security. A firewall acts as a barrier between you and data-based malware existing on the internet.
- Make use of a VPN
A VPN (virtual private network) gives you access to your work files as if you were in the office, plus it gives you additional privacy online.
- Use two-step authentication
We recommend setting up two-step authentication, also known as two-factor authentication, on all of your accounts. This ensures that when you log in you will receive an additional code via text to confirm that it is in fact you who is trying to access your account.
- Always scan your files
It’s easy to look at an email address, confirm that you know the person and go ahead and open the file they have sent. But, you should always scan your files before you open them regardless of whether or not they are from a known sender. After all, the sender could have been hacked without even knowing it!
- Update now
Applications both on your computer and your business mobile should always be kept up to date, ideally you should be updating as soon as an update becomes available. While some updates are purely about functionality, many of them are to repair a security hole that has been found which means if you don’t update you’re putting yourself at risk.
- Keep personal information to yourself
It goes without saying that a legitimate email will not request your sensitive personal information. However, scammers are become much cleverer. During lockdown a worrying trend has occurred on social media where participants answer and share many personal details about themselves such as their first pet’s name, their birthplace etc. While this seems like a harmless game between friends, hackers can use these answers to answer your security questions on both work and personal accounts putting you at risk.