Talk Talk, Sony, Ashley Madison and now Beautifulpeople, are all high profile cases of it… Thousands of people’s email and social media accounts also fall victim to it on a daily basis… People have even tried doing it to Facebook…
What am I talking about? You guessed it, Online Hacking.
Security is a topic we focus on a lot at Fitzrovia IT as the frequency and severity of threats is ever increasing. However, we all have the ability to respond to online hacking and malware to a certain degree, simply by improving certain areas of our online security. The skill and intelligence of a vast number of online hackers and malware means that most businesses will still need significant barriers in place to prevent hacking.
Having said that, there’s no target like an easy target so make sure you follow these tips to get you started:
Create stronger passwords
Yes, this is the obvious one but it’s surprising how many people still ignore this simple security measure. Create passwords at least 8 characters in length, with a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, avoiding memorable words such as family names or birthdays.
Then change them frequently and never use the same password for multiple devices or services
The last thing you need is for a hacker to crack one of your passwords and gain access to all your accounts and devices.
Get creative with your security question answers
It’s easy to find out where you went to school or your mother’s maiden name. To keep the baddies at bay, you need to come up with some unconventional answers to these questions.
Install anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware and have a good firewall in place
They work together to protect your systems by preventing, detecting and removing malicious programs.
Be careful with Cloud
Be cautious when choosing which Cloud services to use when it comes to sensitive information. Ensure you’re only using Cloud services which encrypt data at rest and in transit. For maximum security, you might choose a private cloud service e.g. Fitz Cloud.
Beware of phishing
If someone sends you a file or link to a website you didn’t ask for, think before you click, even if it seems to be from an official source. You can check the sender email address by hovering over a link, is the sender really who they claim to be? And it’s not just emails, social networks and instant messaging can be targeted too.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi
We mentioned this in our previous blog on Location Tracking putting you at risk. Fake networks can be designed to look real, but they’re actually operated by cyber criminals. Connecting to these networks allows the attacker to intercept emails, texts or calls, or direct you to websites where they can obtain sensitive passwords and other information.
The secure version of http – all communication between a user’s browser and the websites visited is encrypted.
Keep your software up to date
Ensure hackers can’t access your computer because of a simple weakness such as out of date programs. Update your operating system and all the software on your computer regularly. These can be schedule to be done automatically so you never miss an essential update.
Wipe your devices
It seems a new smart phone or laptop is released every five minutes, so if you’re selling or upgrading your device, it’s important to remove all traces of personal data from a hard drive before you do so. Even if you’re recycling the device or throwing it away.
If you’d like more information on any of these tips, our private cloud service or how to protect yourself further from online hacking, give our team a call today on 0203 727 6021