Cyber security is all about how you apply technologies, processes, and controls to protect the IT systems which are critical to your business.
Reducing the risk of cyber attacks and protecting the business from unauthorised malicious exploitation is imperative.
Cyber attacks have been known to cripple businesses both literally and financially – such as in 2014 when the Sony PlayStation network was down after a cyber-attack.
With this in mind, here’s 10 cyber security tips you must know to keep your personal and professional data protected and away from the eyes of cyber criminals.
- Keep your software up-to-date
The first step for anyone who is proactive about mitigating cyber attacks is to keep their operating systems updated.
An update will ensure any cracks within the system, such as a weakness within the infrastructure, is repaired to ensure the threat of a hack is minimised.
Your machine should be updated at least once per week to protect your data from loss.
Most IT service companies will manage these automated updates on your behalf, so you shouldn’t need to worry about manually completing these yourself.
- Use strong passwords and use a password management tool
A password manager is a secure and encrypted system which allows a user to store multiple passwords which can be accessed at one location.
From passwords for your cloud-based software accounts, to passwords which are for your main devices, you can gain all you need via a password manager without any need to worry about remembering the codes.
Password management tools allow you to use complex and long passwords too, so you don’t need to remember them all, and therefore strengthening the access to your important accounts.
Read one of our previous blogs for some recommendations on this matter.
- Use Anti-Virus protection and Firewall
One of the most prevalent solutions to fight malicious cyber attacks is anti-virus (AV) protection.
The software blocks malware and other malicious viruses from being exposed to your machine and causing a danger to your data.
But it’s important when you shop for AV protection, you speak to an IT professional like Syn-Star for the best advice. An IT expert will have experience of using some of the best AV systems on the market.
Using a firewall also helps to defend your data against intentional attacks.
Ultimately, your firewall will screen any hackers and viruses which come into contact with your system, and block them without you even knowing about it.
- Understand what phishing scams are – be continually suspicious of emails, phone calls and flyers
Phishing is when a hacker poses to be someone or something you may be familiar with.
The aim of the sender is to trick the recipient into reacting to the content which has been sent.
This may include, but isn’t limited to, clicking on malicious links, opening attachments that infect the system, or sharing credentials via misleading forms.
For best practice, don’t open an email from people you don’t know. Also, hover over a link before clicking it; this will indicate where the link is directing you to.
- Regularly back-up
Many businesses overlook the importance of backing up their documents – but why would anyone wish to spend many hours working on something to then lose it?!
We’d recommend you keep three copies of your data on various types of media to be super-sure your documents are protected.
Back-up on a local hard drive, an external hard drive, and have one copy in an off-site location such as cloud storage.
- Activate Two-Factor Authentication
If you’re already working with an IT specialist for business, we hope they’re solid advocates of activating two-factor authentication.
This is a service that adds additional layers of security to the standard way of using passwords to gain access to a system.
With two-factor authentication, users are prompted to enter an additional method of authentication such as a code sent to their mobile phone or email.
Gone are the days of a simple username and password; that isn’t secure enough! If you’d like more about this key element of security, speak to an IT support company now.
- Never use public Wi-Fi
Yes, we all love free Wi-Fi, but it can be very dangerous to your cyber security. Public Wi-Fi can leave you susceptible to hacks for a number of reasons.
If you do need to connect to public Wi-Fi, ensure you have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) activated. By doing so, the traffic between your machine and the server which hosts your VPN is encrypted.
This makes hacking more difficult for cybercriminals and will prevent them from obtaining access to your data or device.
- Review and make changes to your online accounts regularly
Even with following all the extra precautions to protect yourself from a cyber-attack, it isn’t impossible for a cybercriminal to gain access to your data.
That’s why you must review and make changes to your online accounts on a semi-regular basis.
Whether that’s relative to the passwords you use for social media, or the security questions to get into essential banking accounts, ensure the information you need to gain access to the various systems is constantly strong.
For more information about working with an IT support company, and to discuss options on keeping cyber secure, get in touch with Syn-Star today.