We at PGI aim to demystify cyber security in order to help businesses and people understand that there are a few simple steps you can take to help defend your sensitive data.
Here’s our top ten tips for cyber security -
1. Use strong passwords
When coming up with a password make sure it is a strong one. The best passwords use a combination of letters, numbers and other characters. Make sure it’s something you can remember but never share it and be sure not to write it down on a sticky note that you then affix to your monitor or leave lying about.
You can see how strong your passwords are by using our password checker - http://bit.ly/2g7Kq6D
2. Never think it won’t happen to you
Many people and businesses don’t think that they will ever fall victim to a cyber-attack. In reality this is a foolish way to think. If you have data that could be used by a hacker then you already are a target. SMEs are often targeted due to their often less than robust cyber security and because they are often a way into a larger organisations systems. All businesses on a supply chain need to be protected properly.
3. Never leave your devices unlocked
This one is simple. When you leave your machine always ensure to lock it. An open unattended machine is just asking for trouble. If using a windows machine just press the windows button and L and voila!
4. Don’t click on links in Emails unless you can verify it’s from a trusted source
If you receive an unexpected email never click on links that it may contain. Chances are high that it is a phishing email with links containing malware. Many businesses and organisations have fallen victim to such attacks. Always think before clicking on anything.
5. Always back up your data and keep your anti-virus up to date
If your business is hit by ransomware or data is stolen you can reduce the damage by backing up your data regularly. With malware evolving all the time you need to keep your anti-virus as up to date as possible.
6. Use good browsing habits
Good cyber hygiene can help avoid many cyber dangers. Don’t visit dodgy looking websites and never click on links on such sites. Promoting a cyber aware culture throughout your business can reduce the threat dramatically. A good place to start is our Cybersecurity Fundamentals course.
7. Be wary of any devices you plug into your machine
Devices like USB sticks are often used by hackers to attack a machine. Malware can be spread through external devices including smart phones.
8. Keep an eye on what you post on social media
Criminals can garner an incredible amount of information from social media posts. Make sure to set your privacy settings correctly on sites like Facebook in order to prevent outsiders from seeing your personal information.
9. Never give out personal or sensitive data
Social engineering is used by criminals to elicit information out of a person. Be wary of spear phishing emails and other forms of manipulation. Often a criminal will try and get sensitive data out of you so never give out such details.
10. Always be vigilant of suspicious activity
Keep an eye on your accounts and websites for suspicious activity. If something looks out of place or unfamiliar, it could mean that you’ve been breached.