How to Prevent Cyber Attacks
How to Prevent Cyber Attacks
What can you do to prevent a cyber attack?
It’s more important now than ever before to have preventative measures in place to improve cyber security to protect you and your business from cyber threats such as loss of sensitive data and phishing attacks.
The divide between work and our personal lives is becoming increasingly blurred, especially in current times as we adapt to a new routine of hybrid working, making it key to ensure cyber security practices are adhered to.
This is why we’re taking part in Cybersecurity Awareness Month to spread awareness of cyber security threats and preventative measures that you can take. Whether staff are operating from the office, on-site with a customer, or working from home – Cyber security should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds as you connect and collborate online daily.
Cyber Attack Prevention Tools – Start with the basics
It’s every individual’s responsibility to ensure they understand the cyber risks to not only their personal information, systems and devices, but also the risks to their business as well.
There are many cyber attack prevention tools you can utilise to enhance your cyber security, both at work and at home. It’s important to know how to prevent cyber attacks on businesses as well as individuals, so below we have highlighted 8 simple steps you can action now:
Create Unique Passwords
When it comes to passphrases, the length of the password is more important than the complexity. A strong password is at least 12 characters long. That being said, it is still key to use a mix of characters (upper and lower-case), numbers, and symbols.
We know it can be hard to remember multiple passwords, but you need to refrain from using the same password for multiple accounts. If a hacker manages to get your login details for one account, then they have access to everything if you’ve used the same password.
There are password management tools available that help with this and is worth taking a look at if you struggle to remember multiple passwords.
2-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Having a strong password isn’t the only thing you should be doing. Most places you sign up for allow for 2-factor authentication. This is when you log in with your password, it will prompt you to verify your identity elsewhere with biometrics, security keys, or a unique one-time passcode through an app. Where offered always use 2-factor authentication.
A very common method of 2-factor authentication is by using an application on your smartphone, this application is linked and authenticated with your accounts which support 2-factor authentication and will generate a unique number for a limited time that you will be prompted to enter to prove that it is you attempting to access your account.
Share with Care
Think about what you post about yourself and others online. Consider what the post reveals, who might see it, and how it might affect others.
For example, it is common to see posts on social media platforms like Facebook prompting people to comment with their first pet’s name, or their mother’s maiden name, or something else that’s seemingly a bit of harmless fun. However, these are common security questions, and commenting your answers is helping hackers get access to your accounts.
It’s also important to consider the longevity of content online, it’s not always gone even if you delete it. It’s best to be sure before you post.
Keep a Clean Machine
Keep all software on internet-connected devices, such as personal smartphones, laptops and tablets up to date to reduce the risk of infection from ransomware attacks and malware. We recommend configuring devices to automatically update or notify you when new updates are available.
Back It Up
Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely. Remember the 3-2-1 rule: Keep at least 3 copies of your data, with 2 backup copies on different media storage, 1 of which is located offsite.
That way, if the worst happens, you haven’t necessarily lost everything.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out
Links in emails, texts, online advertising, social media posts, and messages are the easiest way for cyber criminals to get your sensitive information. Be wary of clicking or downloading anything that comes from a stranger or that you weren’t expecting. Bin it and report it where possible.
If you ever get a text from a company that you weren’t expecting, double-check before clicking anything. With emails you can click to see the senders email address, a quick check can quickly show you that it’s a fake account.
Own Your Online Presence
Every time you sign up for a new account, download a new app, or get a new device, make sure you configure the privacy and security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s also important to regularly check these settings to ensure they’re still to your liking.
Get savvy with WiFi Hotspots
Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure and therefore should not be trusted. Anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while you are connected to them. Limit what you do on public WiFi, and avoid logging in to key accounts like emails or financial services. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection.