Here are ways in which you can protect yourself and your assets against cyber attack. It’s not an exaggeration to state that we are in the midst of an epidemic of cybercrime even if you take the reported cases at face value.
It’s bad enough but there are reasons to suspect that the actual situation is much worse because so much is not reported, the police are under-resourced, investigations are complex and consequently the criminals feel empowered to continue and to step up their attacks.
So this is on us as individuals and businesses to strengthen our defenses and to mitigate the risks by taking the essential precautions.
Some of the tips that follow may seem obvious and yet it’s amazing how many people fail to act on this type of advice.
Keep your software up to date always, keep your antivirus and other software up to date and complete the updates as soon as they are announced, including your mobile phone and tablet. Software developers release these updates for a variety of reasons, bug fixes, new features and so on but often they are in response to freshly identified security weaknesses. You can also use a VPN which will protect your data by encrypting it and also watch foreign channels like ESPN Plus in Canada as well.
Also clear the clutter from your computers by removing any unused software from your devices and you’ll not only lessen the risk but also free up space and perhaps make your other programs run more smoothly.
Secondly be aware of data breaches and react to them even with a strong password your details may be compromised if a company fails to protect their network and thieves hack in and steal data.
If you see any such reports in the press check to see if you have an account with a company and if you do change your passwords immediately this won’t stop your details being sold on the dark web but it will prevent anyone from using your now compromised password.
Meanwhile remain vigilant for any calls, mails or other signs that your identity is being used by a criminal number.
Use strong and unique passwords yes, I know logging in and clicking away the cookie notice is a pain, but it can be semi-automated with a good password manager. I’ve used RoboForm for years. It includes a tool that will generate cryptic passwords containing a mix of numbers, symbols and letters in upper and lower case. These are stored in an encrypted file which is synchronized across all my devices.
PC, laptops, mobile phones, you should use long unique and cryptic passwords of 12 characters or more for everything that requires you to login not just your pension account or favorite shopping site but also the broadband Rooter on your home network.
And if the login process includes the option to send a passcode to your mobile phone and then enable it and use it.
Is to nail down your social media settings social media by definition involves sharing information about yourself so be careful what you do share and to whom you share it for example familiarize yourself with all your Facebook profile settings and ensure that you can find your sharing to those you intend.
Be aware that even if your accounts are not breached, those of your friends may be compromised and this gives the criminal access to more information about you. For example it might be wise to share your holiday snaps when you get home rather than advertise the fact that your house is empty while you’re away!
Is to read your statements and sign up for alerts banks and credit card companies are aware of the threat. So pay attention to their warnings if they provide the facility to notify you of changes to your account then accept the notifications and read them.
Check your bank statements and credit rating for unusual activity if you see something suspicious then contact the relevant company or bank and ask to speak to their fraud Department.
Tip number 6 is to secure your network change, your broadband Reuters admin password to something cryptic and store it in your password manager follow the instructions and ensure your Wi-Fi network security settings are the strongest they can be for small businesses it’s a good idea to change your Wi-Fi password regularly in case the current one has become compromised.
Audit your devices and backup important data take the time to audit your Reuter and home or business network each month or so.
Once you’ve done this a couple of times it’s quick and easy to check which devices have been attached to your network and remove or block anything you don’t recognize backup essential data into an external hard drive or some other form of storage that you can access.
If the worst happens disaster recovery plans are not just for businesses so much of our personal data at home is now stored in electronic files that it could prove very problematic if they were suddenly lost or stolen.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll lower the risk greatly but the most useful thing you can do is to educate yourself. Your family and your staff vigilance and awareness of the changing nature of the threat will mitigate most risks if you are the victim of cyber crime of any kind, then report it and seek help.
There’s no shame attached and no need to suffer in silence, contact the police and other agencies for more details of the support that is available thanks for reading. Like and share it with others who may need this advice leave a comment below with any questions and additional suggestions. We would love to help you!