Top ten tips for protecting against cyber crime
1. Use a strong password or passphrase
Use a minimum of 10 characters or a sentence of words that you will remember and include characters and symbols i.e. M4ry H@d A Little L@mb – or use words in a language other than English.
2. Install security software (Anti malware , Firewall)
Computers are generally set to do this automatically, but don’t ignore the prompts to update when they flash up .
3. Keep software and Apps up to date
You will see notifications of updates as pop-ups or an alert on your app store. Don’t ignore them as they often contain security fixes – so update as soon as possible.
4. Think about what information you put online
If you wouldn’t make it public knowledge in the real world, don’t put it online. Cyber criminals search for information to impersonate you online and in the real world.
5. Double check who an e-mail is from before responding
If it looks suspicious, delete or check with the sender. Remember to use an independent means of contact. Don’t reply direct to the suspect e-mail.
6. Never click on links in an e–mail unless you are certain who it’s from
These are generally just junk mail or may contain malicious software which could compromise your computer system.
7. Back up all important files regularly
Back up all important files onto an external hard -drive, memory stick or cloud, or all three to be extra secure. If using cloud storage, log out after each use.
8. Don’t pass sensitive information over public WI-FI
It can be easy for criminals to access public Wi-Fi or create their own WiFi access point and gain access to your device and details.
9. Consider encrypting confidential data
If you are sending confidential data or personal information, encrypting it will make it a lot more secure.For example, Winzip with a password.
10. Promote cyber awareness – be a cyber champion
Make sure your family and friends are aware of how to stay cyber safe and protect their devices, money and privacy. If you work within a company or organisation, make sure staff are aware of the risks and simple steps to take to protect against cyber threats.