In our world of technology and in the current pandemic we are all increasingly relying on technology, online shopping, online banking, and social media. But how safe are we? Are we taking the necessary precautions we need and keeping vigilant? Or are we allowing the hackers and scammers in?
We all need to ensure our personal information and data are secure from cyber criminals and protect ourselves and our businesses from cyber security risks. Cyber criminals will steal anything from passwords, data, personal information to even stealing money. Cyber attacks can lead to massive data breaches which have a direct effect on individuals.
So why should we be so worried?
Cyber attacks have become more frequent and sophisticated. According to Government statistics (Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020) almost half of businesses (46%) and a quarter of charities (26%) reported security breaches or cyber attacks in the 12 months preceding the survey. Of those 46% of businesses, 19% reported loss of money or data.
Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the pandemic and targeting not only businesses but also individuals and exploiting the vulnerable. They have upped their game and the reality is that these criminals are not sophisticated teams with high tech equipment and expertise. We can be exploited through our devices and online connections
Cyber attacks cause turmoil and distress and whilst a large company may have the resources to fund a cyber security team, individuals do not and are on their own.
Common cyber threats include
- hacking of passwords and social media
- phishing or social engineering by using fake emails to elicit personal and security information
- malicious software
95% of breaches are through human error but there are basic steps we can all take to make us more secure and help reduce the risk.
- Be vigilant. If it’s too good to be true it probably is!
- Don’t be caught out through phishing emails. These are on the increase and is a common way to obtain personal information. Be aware of potential fake emails that ask you to change your password or login to your account through a link. Never click on a link if you’re not sure.
- Remember, companies will not ask you for passwords or pins.
- Be on the lookout for scam emails, calls, or texts. If in doubt, ignore. Most scam emails can be detected when you look at them closely.
- Don’t make it easy for hackers. Make sure your passwords are strong and don’t use the same password for different logins.
- Use password protection.
- Use two-factor authentication.
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Make sure your software and operating systems are kept up to date.
- Install anti-virus software.
- Protect your mobile device with a pin or password. Don’t make it easy!
- Don’t connect to Wi-Fi hotspots. You don’t know who controls the hotspot and somebody else could access your information. Use an unknown hotspot or use your 4G network.
So many people are still uninformed or misinformed about cyber security. Just being more aware and educating people can make a big difference. Sharing knowledge and taking just a little time to put cyber security measure in place can guard against cyber threats and attacks.
The scale of cyber threat is growing. Managing your cyber security is critical and it’s the only way to keep out the hackers and scammers. Let’s not let them win.