Master Cybersecurity Do’s and Don’ts with Minerva’s Checklist this Winter
Keep your business safe with our updated checklist of cybersecurity do’s and don’ts
At Minerva, we get calls on a regular basis from people who have been hacked or scammed, and of course it’s incredibly stressful and upsetting for anyone who’s been a victim of this merciless activity.
They’ve usually lost money or data, they may have been held to ransom, they may have suffered massive disruption to their business that threatens the livelihood of everyone the organisation employs, and even other companies in their supply chain.
But in the vast majority of cases, it is avoidable, provided you take a few simple steps to protect yourself.
So here’s our checklist of do’s and don’ts to keep you safe and enhance your online security:
- Use Strong Passwords:
Create unique, strong passwords for each of your accounts, the longer the better, using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. And consider using a passphrase that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess.
- Enable Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication (2FA/MFA):
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security, typically involving receiving a code on your mobile device in addition to entering your password. And multi-factor authentication (MFA) may be advisable to protect especially sensitive information such as financial data or personnel information.
- Keep Your Software Updated:
Regularly updating your operating systems, antivirus software and other applications will help optimise your protection against vulnerabilities.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN):
Consider using a VPN, especially when connecting to public wi-fi, to encrypt your internet connection and protect your data.
- Be Cautious with Emails:
Always avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown or suspicious emails, and verify the legitimacy of email senders before responding to requests for personal information. And if someone tells you their bank details have changed, call them on a known number to check that it was from them.
- Regularly Back Up Your Data:
Keep regular backups of important data to prevent loss in case of a security incident or hardware failure. It is important to store that data in multiple locations and ideally in immutable storage.
- Check Your Privacy Settings:
Review and adjust the privacy settings on your social media accounts and other online platforms to control who can see your information.
- Use Secure Websites (https):
When providing personal or sensitive information, ensure that the website is secure
by looking for ‘https://’ in the URL. Any site which has ‘http’ rather than ‘https’ in its address should definite ring alarm bells!
- Monitor Your Accounts:
Regularly check your bank accounts, credit card statements, and other online accounts for any unauthorised activity.
- Educate Yourself:
Stay informed about common online threats and security best practices to make informed decisions
And here are some really important DON’Ts:
- DON’T Reuse Passwords:
Avoid using the same password across multiple accounts; if one of your accounts is compromised, it could jeopardise others.
- DON’T Share Personal Information Publicly:
Be cautious about sharing personal information, such as your address or phone number, on public forums or social media.
- DON’T Click on Suspicious Links or Pop Ups:
Avoid clicking on links in emails or messages from unknown sources.
And make sure to verify the legitimacy of the sender before taking any action.
- DON’T Download Anything from Untrusted Sources:
Only download software and apps from reputable sources, and please keep away from cracked or pirated software.
- DON’T Ignore Software Updates:
Ignoring updates can leave your system exposed to potential threat, so regularly update your software and operating system to patch security vulnerabilities.
- DON’T Use Public Computers for Sensitive Transactions:
Avoid using public computers or unsecured networks for sensitive transactions or accessing confidential information.
- DON’T Fall for Phishing Scams:
Easier said than done, but always be sceptical of unexpected emails or messages asking for personal information and verify the legitimacy of the request before providing any information.
- DON’T Save Your Passwords in Your Browser:
Avoid saving your passwords in your browser, especially on shared or public computers.
- DON’T Overlook Account Activity:
Don’t ignore unusual activity on your accounts. If you notice something suspicious, take immediate action, such as changing passwords and notifying you service provider.
- DON’T Assume You’re Invulnerable:
Stay vigilant and recognise that online threats are constantly evolving. Regularly reassess and update your security practices.
So can you tick all the boxes?
And perhaps more importantly, are you certain that everyone else who uses your systems and networks is aware of the do’s and don’ts?
Please share them with everyone in your organisation, to make sure this festive season don’t bring any unwanted surprises.
If in doubt…
You can read more about the dangers of phishing here but if you’re in any doubt about what you need to do to protect your people or your organisation, speak to your system administrator, or contact us at Minerva.
We’re here to give objective, expert advice, and take away the stress and anguish that the hackers and scammers inflict on so many people at this time of year.
Hackers and online fraud often make the news, so ignorance is no excuse. Liability remains yours so if you are unsure how to approach cyber security, visit our Network & Security page to see how Minerva can help you protect your business from cybersecurity risks.
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