It’s Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is all about raising awareness of how to stay safe online. The theme for October 2021’s Cyber Security Month was “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”, so we all have a role to play in improving our cyber security practices at home and at work.
To help you out, we’re sharing our Top 5 Cyber Security Tips for 2021, helping you and your organisation the finish the year Cyber Safe.
Beware of Phishing Emails
Phishing emails are when a criminal tries to trick you into giving away your personal information via email. They’ll often do this by pretending to be a reputable company – or organisation – asking you to make a payment by clicking a link and entering your bank details. These links can contain viruses, giving criminals access to your private information.
Grammar mistakes, links to make payments or update payment details, and calls to act ‘urgently’ can all be obvious giveaways of a scam.
If an email looks suspicious, don’t reply to it or click any links. Instead, forward the email to email@example.com.
Use Strong Passwords
We recommend you follow the NCSC guidance (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/top-tips-for-staying-secure-online/use-a-strong-and-separate-password-for-email) of using three random words to create a strong password, especially for important accounts such as your email. These words should be unrelated (not ‘CarDriveRoad’). Remember to include upper- and lower-case letters. You should also add special characters (!, #, %) and numbers at the start and end of your password. Don’t use personal information that could easily be found by criminals on your social media such as a pet’s name or your place of birth.
Pro Tip: Instead of writing your passwords on scrap pieces of paper or in a special black book, use an online password manager (‘LastPass’ is a good option: https://www.lastpass.com) to keep all your passwords secure in one place so you won’t have to worry about memorising them all.
Enable 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication)
This means that after entering your password, you’ll be required to enter an extra authentication code to login to your account. Enabling 2FA will add an extra layer of protection to your account. Even if a hacker manages to get your password, they won’t be able to login without this authentication code.
2FA can be done by entering a code that’s sent via SMS to your phone, or to a separate authenticator app (such as ‘Authy’- you can download this on your computer or from the app store on your mobile device: https://authy.com).
Pro Tip: 2FA is usually turned off by default. To enable it, go into the settings of your account and set it up from there.
Keep Software and Devices Up to Date
Don’t ignore those annoying notifications that pop up telling you to update your device software or apps. These updates can include important security improvements such as security patches to fix security flaws in the older software.
If you don’t have the latest software installed, cyber criminals can use this weakness to their advantage and attack your devices.
If you’re busy working and need to use your device, remember to update it later on. You can even schedule the update for overnight.
Training for Staff
Did you know that nearly 90% of cyber security breaches are due to human error?(https://cybata.co.uk/training-courses/) That’s why proper training for staff is vital to protect your organisation.
Training in the workplace will ensure that everybody can become more cyber-savvy. The right education will enable staff to recognise risks, giving them the knowledge and confidence to navigate safely in the digital space. Here at Cybata, we offer training and courses face-to-face, via live online webinars and through eLearning platforms. Our training is customised to fit your organisation’s line of work and will help you discover what you can do to operate more safely.
Remember to share these tips with your friends and colleagues!