Cybersecurity Month – are you protected?

Cybersecurity is an important part of our culture and, as we continue to fight against hackers and criminals, every user of technology plays a crucial role in the front-line defence. Attackers target employees every day, at work and at home, and it is vital that employers ensure their employees understand the possible threats and know how to prevent incidents from cybercriminals. For personal data and professional activities to be safe and protected, there are several steps which can be taken.

Here are some key steps to avoid online threats:

Phishing: Cybercrime that uses tactics like deceptive emails, websites, and text messages to steal confidential information from individuals or organisations. How can phishing be avoided?

  • Inspect the sender’s email address and look for verifiable sender contact information. If in doubt, do not reply. Start a new email to respond.
  • Avoid clicking on unexpected links and opening untrustworthy email attachments.

Scams: Criminals may try to charge to “fix” a non-existent problem or may even try to destroy personal or company network and demand a ransom. Always report suspected scams.

  • Be aware of unsolicited tech support calls and error messages requesting urgent contact.
  • Do not follow guidance to download software from an email or third-party website.

Devices and Data: Protecting devices and identity is important for keeping emails, accounts, and devices safer and avoiding identity theft. Out of date devices and software are a leading access point for cybercriminals.

  • Be sceptical of messages with links, especially those asking for personal information.
  • Enable the lock feature on all mobile devices and update software immediately.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on apps and accounts when available.

Passwords: One of the most important ways to ensure online accounts are safe and secure is to protect passwords.  Create strong passwords – at least 12 characters long but 14 or more is better and use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

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