If you look out for phishing scams, protect your passwords, and update your devices regularly, then you can improve your online safety.
Cybersecurity has become one of the biggest topics inside and outside of technology circles over the past two years. From securing personal devices for digital learning and remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguarding corporate data against cyberattacks, there’s been a seemingly endless news cycle dedicated to concerns around online safety.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or even powerless in the face of rapidly increasingly cybercrime, especially when there are fresh headlines about data breaches and phishing scams almost every day. But end-users – the people using technology to communicate, collaborate and connect – have an important role to play as the first line of defence when it comes to thwarting scammers, fraudsters and threat actors.
Unfortunately, many individuals are not aware of the most basic cybersecurity practices for everyday life. During Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October, Champion organisations like BUI are trying to change that – by sharing practical, actionable tips to help everyone #BeCyberSafe. Here are four basic online safety tips that you can implement right now.
1 | Watch out for phishing scams
Phishing (when a cybercriminal poses as a legitimate party in the hope of getting individuals to engage with malicious content or links) remains one of the most popular tactics among cybercriminals. In fact, about 90% of data breaches occur due to phishing, according to Cisco’s 2021 Cybersecurity Threat Trends report.
While phishing has grown more sophisticated, suspicious email characteristics (like poor spelling and grammar, typos, low-quality graphics and fake logos in a message) can be a tell-tale sign that the content is risky. Read our explainer blogs – Phishing: Can you spot these common types? and Three ways to shore up your defences against phishing – to learn more.
And remember… If you think you have spotted a phishing attempt, be sure to report the incident to your internal IT teams and service providers so that they can remediate the situation and prevent others from possibly becoming victims.
2 | Protect your passwords
Having a unique, long and complex password for each of your accounts is one of the simplest ways to boost your online safety. And yet, only 43% of the public say that they “always” or “very often” use strong passwords, according to the National Cybersecurity Alliance’s 2022 Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviours Report.
Password cracking is one of the go-to tactics that cybercriminals turn to in order to access sensitive information. And if you are a “password repeater”, once a cybercriminal has hacked one of your accounts, they can easily do the same across all of your accounts. Read our blog – The importance of digital identity management – to find out why it’s vital to make your login credentials rock solid.
3 | Enable multifactor authentication
Multifactor authentication or MFA – which prompts a user to input a second set of verifying information or to sign-in via an authenticator app – is a very effective measure that anyone can employ to reduce the chances of a cybersecurity breach.
According to Microsoft, MFA can block over 99.9% of account compromise attacks. Therefore, it is a must for any individual who is looking to secure their devices and accounts. Remember, multifactor authentication – from one-time PINs to biometric scans – will put an extra barrier between your sensitive data and the cybercriminals who want to access it.
Read our blog – Three simple ways to improve your data privacy – to explore other ways of protecting your personal information.
4 | Turn on automatic updates
Making sure that your devices are up to date should be an essential part of your cybersecurity routine. Don’t ignore software updates and patches! Cybersecurity is an ongoing effort, and updates are important for device maintenance and security.
Instead of trying to remember to check for updates, enable automatic updates whenever you can. This way, you’ll reduce your chances of having older, possibly vulnerable or risky versions of software that could be exploited by cybercriminals.
BUI is proud to be a Champion organisation for the 2022 edition of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This article was originally provided by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and is republished here with permission.
Improve your cybersecurity posture with an expert partner.
Cybercriminals are targeting enterprises big and small to try to gain access to sensitive, confidential, or proprietary data and resources.
How are you protecting your IT environment? Stay ahead of threat actors by choosing a managed detection and response service from BUI.