Top Ten Tips: Cyber Security Tips for Users
Here is a list of points your USERS should be thinking about whenever they’re using the Internet.
You have probably seen all of these tips before, but the key is to keep your users constantly EDUCATED and to keep repeating it!
TOP TEN TIPS:
1. You are an attractive target to hackers. Don’t ever think “It won’t happen to us.”
2. Practice good password management. Make a password as long as possible. Use different
types of characters including numbers, symbols and punctuation marks. Try not to use dictionary words in your password as this makes them easier to crack. Consider using a pass phrase with three random words together or lyrics from a song. Use different passwords for different accounts. Don’t share your password with others, don’t write it down, and definitely don’t write it on a post-it note attached to your monitor. Try to avoid using personal information such as birthdays, favourite sports teams or children/pet names.
3. Never leave your devices unattended. If you need to leave your computer, phone, or tablet for any length of time—no matter how short—lock it up so no one can use it while you’re away. If you keep sensitive information on a flash drive or external hard drive, make sure to lock it up as well. Encrypt all important or sensitive data.
4. Make regular backups of important work and data to a separate device, such as a portable hard drive, cloud solutions etc. Backups should be encrypted and stored in a safe place. Always ensure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up to date.
5. When browsing online for shopping or banking only use a device that belongs to you, or use a network that you trust. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing public Wi-Fi connections – your data will be encrypted as it is transferred over the network. If you are unsure as to whether a Wi-Fi hotspot is secure do not use it, but use 3G or 4G data connection instead.
6. 95% of internal breaches are caused by human error – IBM 2015 Cyber Security Index
Often criminals will send emails pretending to be someone else. The email may claim to come from a bank, government department or work colleague. The aim is to get the recipient to usually reveal confidential information to the sender. Be extremely careful when clicking on attachments or links in emails. If you think it’s suspicious for any reason, don’t click on it. Double check spellings on email addresses and the URL of the website the link takes you to: cyber criminals will take advantage of spelling mistakes to direct you to a harmful domain.
7. Be careful when plugging in external devices into your computer. Malware can be spread through infected memory drives, external hard drives, and even smartphones. Before connecting any device check it is free from malware.
8. Be wary of what you post on social networks. Know what information can be found about you online. Separate business information from personal information. Set privacy settings on social media sites.
9. Offline, be wary of social engineering, where someone attempts to gain information from you through manipulation. If someone calls or emails you asking for sensitive information, it’s okay to say no. You can always call the company directly to verify credentials before giving out any information.
10. Be sure to monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. If you see something unfamiliar, it could be a sign that you’ve been compromised.