The troubling rise in cybercrime has been well documented in the press. A government survey conducted earlier this year found that 74% of British businesses identify cyber security as a top concern for senior management. Those who recorded it as a ‘very low’ priority dropped from 13% (2016) to 7% (2017). Clearly, there’s a growing awareness of how destructive a security breach can be.
Subsequently, it’s worth looking at your online behaviour and identifying gaps in your security. To protect you from cybercrime attempts, here are five simple changes you can make:
1. Perform regular software updates
Firewalls and anti-virus software are an indispensable link in the cyber security chain. However, they can’t match the pace of hackers, who are constantly innovating new malware to infiltrate your systems.
Most software providers release regular updates that address any vulnerabilities and protect users. As such, it’s vital to perform updates to your software and operating systems if you want to avoid falling foul of hacking attempts.
2. Use multi-tier email access
There’s a vast store of sensitive information in your email account; a hacker will have a field day if they manage to break in, which can be done if you have a single, password-based authentication setup.
For a more robust strategy, we recommend a two-step process, such as a text or code-based alert for your smartphone. That way, you can terminate access from an unknown party before they do any damage.
3. Monitor your public browsing
Avoid using a public server for anything you’d rather keep private. By this, we’re referring to internet banking, client databases, or signing into business software when you’re on the move.
A private server, well secured, is a much safer means for these inputs to be facilitated. Also remember that the ‘s’ of ‘https://’ stands for ‘secure sockets layer’, relating to an encrypted web signal – sites without it can put your information at risk.
4. Research suspicious email links
As many as 91% of phishing attempts – that is, emails purporting to be an ‘official’ message hiding a virus or malware link – imitate a contact that’s familiar to an organisation. When your inbox is dealing with so much correspondence every day, it’s vital to refrain from clicking out of habit. Instead, let your cursor hover over the link: if it takes you to a safe location (which you can verify by typing the site’s name into a Google search) then there’s a strong chance it’s legitimate.
5. Take advantage of password managers
It’s near-universal common sense to recognise that one password isn’t enough for all of the accounts on your system. Diversifying authentication codes is going to make a breach that much harder to pull off. But, of course, it’s equally tough to remember them for every form of access.
That’s why password managers like RoboForm, LogMeOnce and Dashlane are essential. They’re protected by the latest security measures, and can even suggest codes if you’re stuck for ideas.
We’re always in favour of stronger, more prescient security measures whenever our clients talk about their IT culture. By implementing what we’ve discussed – and exploring other tweaks to your routine – it’s possible to skirt disaster.
We can carry the same level of diligence over to your website. If you’re worried about the online security of you or your customers, contact the Impression team for a chat.