10 Tips For Improved Cyber Security

Cyber security is changing all the time and so should the way we all approach it. Big businesses are altering their approach constantly. 

Look at the recent purchase of Westpoint Limited by Capita IT professional services as a case in point. Things are changing and business needs to keep on top……and so do you.  

So here are 10 tips for cyber security to help ensure your business or home computer is safe for the long term.  

Ensure that you only use secure passwords. Passwords form the first line of defense. Use passwords containing a combination of special characters, lowercase letters, uppercase letters, and numbers. The more the complexity of your password the harder it will be for hackers to compromise.  

Avoid using any personally identifying information in your password. It is never a good idea to use your own name or that of your pet, child, or spouse as a password. The same applies to phone numbers or birthdays since this information is readily available through a Google search of your name.   

Ensure that you update your OS software regularly. Hackers are continuously coming up with new ways of infiltrating security systems and it pays to ensure that your browser has the most current security patches. If prompted to update your operating system software, ensure that you do it.   

Avoid leaving your computer unattended when you log in to a website. It might be tempting to leave the browser open when you have to leave the PC for just a couple of minutes but this is a golden chance for snoopers. Close all the applications then log off before stepping away.   

Generate a “burner” email address. It might be a good idea to have a free email account with websites such as Yahoo or Gmail that you can provide when required to give your email address online or when opening an ecommerce account. You will reduce vulnerability of your primary address and avoid spam too.   

Protect your mobile devices using passwords. Most people never bother creating a PIN or password for their tablet or mobile phone, which is a great mistake. Tablets and phones like PCs usually have sensitive account data on them that should also be kept safe.   For all the websites that you visit, use different passwords. Many people make the common error of using a single set of log in credentials for all the websites that they visit. However, doing this means that a hacking incident on a particular website compromises the entirety of their online accounts.   

Change your passwords regularly. 
If you regularly change your passwords, you will lower the chances of you losing valuable data in case of a hacking incident. Aim to change your passwords at least once a month.   Set your email to only read plain text. One method hackers use to target victims is monitoring when you open your emails by embedding an image that displays automatically. Once you set the email to only display plain text, you can open emails from trusted senders manually.   

Avoid keeping a password list. If you follow proper security practices, you will create strong passwords then change them regularly. However, keeping an unencrypted list of passwords on your computer beats the whole purpose.

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