Cyber security is such a hot topic as it’s an every changing landscape that goes way beyond businesses, with personal impacts that transcend societies, politics and countries. Cyber-crime has no boundaries and is sometimes very hard to defend against. Criminals use our behaviour against us in social engineering as well as exploiting weaknesses in technology. This 2-pronged attack can easily result in fraud, identity theft, espionage plus a whole lot more unpleasant crimes taking place.
How can you reduce risk?
This is as much about you as it is about technology. Reusing passwords, making them to short and easy to guess, sharing personally identifiable information on social media platforms, not keeping your systems up to date all make it far easier to hackers to succeed. Here are some tips to keep you safe, but remember never to be complacent!
Have a look on https://haveibeenpwned.com/ to see if your password has been hacked – and then change it if it has.
There are many free credit checking facilities available, use these to make sure your records have not been compromised.
Set your password to a phrase replacing some of the letters with numbers. And don’t use things a cyber criminal might easily be able to get from your public social media posts.
Keeping track of your devices
Switch location services off to stop devices, photos and software from tracking where you are. There is free software criminals can use to track the source of social media posts by your location.
Apply updates and patches regularly – they may be inconvenient but they’re there to patch holes that criminals can exploit. One of the reasons the Wannacry ransome attack was so successful is that so many computers had not been patched.
Don’t be fooled by SMishing (SMS phishing) texts telling you there’s been suspected fraudulent transactions on your account, and wanting you to follow a link to log in. If in doubt ALWAYS go back to an original source like a statement to get the helpline number and call this, or to a known secure website.
Educate yourself about how to stay safe – the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) regularly post information to help people and businesses stay safe.
CompTIA is also a great resource for advice, guidance, training and cyber careers support
We hope this is useful and of course, if you have questions you are very welcome at our free Last Resort Support sessions.