The internet has revolutionised the way that we work, but can sometimes seem like a daunting place. With the rise in cyber attacks, malware and malicious activity, users need to be aware of potential threats to their online safety.
The increase in the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the home can affect network security, as some devices are not secure by design and use default usernames and passwords. Any device that connects to the internet needs to be secure and users should follow the same security procedures as they would with a PC or laptop.
We’ve put together some internet security tips – we all know the basics, but a reminder didn’t hurt anyone!
- Keep up-to-date: It is vital to keep all software up-to-date so that you have the latest security patches and updates. Hackers often take advantage of bugs and flaws in outdated software, so turn on automatic updates.
- Passwords: People tend to choose passwords that are easy to remember and use them for multiple accounts. Create strong, unique passwords mixing letters, numbers and special characters, or use a password manager such as LastPass.
- Use a firewall: A firewall is a barrier that blocks unauthorised access to your computers and devices. Using a firewall will ensure that all of the devices connected to your network are secured. This is important because many IoT devices are not secured, giving hackers access to your entire network.
- Antivirus: Antivirus software will help to protect your computer from viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other unwanted activity that can put your computer at risk. These viruses can perform malicious acts once installed on a computer such as deleting files, accessing personal data, or using your computer to attack others.
- 2 Factor Authentication: 2FA provides an additional layer of security, helping to avoid the vulnerabilities of a standard password-only approach. The most common form is a code that is sent via SMS message to authenticate. This approach prevents your log-in information from being so easily compromised and personal data stolen.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the internet. VPNs can be used to shield browsing activity from hackers who may be watching the network. When using public Wi-Fi, it is especially important to use a VPN.
- Use secure sites: Before entering payment or personal details into a website, check that the site is secure. Check for the small padlock in the address bar and that the beginning of the web address is https:// – the ‘s’ stands for secure.
- Be aware: Many cybercriminals use phishing techniques to get hold of personal information. Using emails that appear to be from trustworthy sources, they request sensitive information to use for fraudulent purposes. Never click links or open attachments in emails that you are not expecting to receive.
- Backup your data: Have your data backed up in an external location. If a problem was to occur, your data would be kept secure and you would be able to recover it.
- Multiple layers of protection: Follow all of the above tips to stay safe online on all of your devices!
How do you stay safe online? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Hyve.