For businesses and individuals alike, tips on how to protect your data are invaluable. As we spend more and more time online, it’s easy to become complacent, and cyber criminals take full advantage of increased opportunities.
On average, people in the UK spend more than 6 hours per day online
Protect your data better with these 12 easy tips
We do a lot online for ease – shopping, cloud computing, instant messaging – slowing these processes down with lots of cyber security hoops to jump through isn’t appealing, and we’re all inclined to cut corners.
But these simple tips will increase your awareness and help to protect your data.
#1. Watch out for links
Email links are a common and too often successful way for cyber criminals to gain personal information. If you receive an email with a click-through prompt remember to stop, look, and think.
#2. Be password-clever
Vary your passwords! This is a corner so many of us cut – even those who know the dangers of doing so. Almost two-thirds of people use the same password across multiple accounts. We get it; remembering all those passwords without writing them down is no mean feat. But varying your passwords is a must, and our next tip does make it easy.
#3. Use a password manager
This is the safest way to use a single password. A password manager will securely hold all your passwords for as many accounts as you like, so you only need to remember one to access them.
#4. Use multi-factor authentication
There aren’t many online services not using MFA. If a site prompts you to set it up, make sure you do. This 2-minute job will add another layer to protect your data.
#5. Avoid debit card payments
If you’re paying for something online, use a credit card or payment service, such as PayPal, that isn’t linked directly to your bank account.
#6. Opt-out of saving payment information
Whilst this can speed up the check-out process when shopping online, your data is at risk if the site you’re using is hacked.
#7. Keep on top of updates
If you ignore updates, you’re exposing your systems to vulnerabilities that will likely result in a breach. You can set updates to run as you shut down your device to avoid interruptions to your day or explore working with a Managed Service Provider who will support you with patch management.
#8. Visit new sites with caution
If you find yourself on a new website, be extra vigilant. Even if the site is legitimate, a new business can be a prime target for hackers until they find their feet with their cyber security. Check for confirmation the site is secure before interacting.
#9. Be security-savvy on social media
Cyber criminals can learn a lot about you from a single post. Check your privacy settings are configured in the best way to protect your data, and think before you share information.
#10. Antivirus software is a must
Whether your device is for business-use, personal-use, or both, it needs the appropriate antivirus software installed. An off-the-shelf solution can work fine for a home-use PC, but for business hardware, you should speak with a cyber security specialist to be sure you get the level of protection you need for your data.
#11. Dodge downloads
It’s usually when you need quick access to an online file a pop-up will appear, prompting you to download a plug-in or similar. Take time to consider what you’re downloading, and remember the golden rule; if you’re unsure, don’t do it!
#12. Be suspicious
Not in life, but certainly online. The number of internet-related cyber crime victims in the UK, has risen by 40% since 2020. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
We can help protect your data
With the rise in sophisticated cyber attacks, cyber security has never been more imperative. That’s why we provide free content-rich cyber security staff training for all our clients, with tips and information that can be applied in and out of work. To find out more, drop us a line – we’re waiting to share our expertise with you.