National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The DHS, that’s the US Department of Homeland Security, not the sofa firm, is reminding people to be aware of their cyber security this month.

And over here, the government has announced that from 1 October, businesses bidding on certain information-sensitive contracts will have to comply with its Cyber Essentials scheme (which also has security tips for SMEs).

Digital security and avoiding #cyberattacks are complex topics and, if there’s one tip you should take away from this blog, it is that you should pay for good advice. Task your IT team. Look for a reputable consultant. But before that, use these tips as a starting point:

  • Think Before You Click
    Dodgy emails and websites are a common way of infecting computers and perhaps even a network, with a #virus. If you check your personal email at work, make sure that the message from your bank, or attachment from your friend, is genuine and not a scam.
  • Be Sure You’re Up-to-Date
    What’s the point in a firewall and virus protection if it’s out of date and not correctly configured? Send the IT bods on a hunt to locate and update any software.
  • Be Careful What You Carry
    We’re talking about USB sticks, of course. Are staff using personal USB drives to move data? Well then, where have those drives been? They’re perfect carriers for viruses since they’re passed around more than a beer stein at #Oktoberfest. Employees should only use company sticks on company computers.
  • Are You Strong and Complicated?
    No, we don’t mean like a Mills & Boon hero – we’re talking about your passwords. Make sure they’re long, with a mix of letters, numbers and characters and that they’re not written on a Post-it note and stuck to your monitor. Spend some time crafting a good one.
  • Get Encrypted
    If you’re dealing with confidential data like customer records, it needs to be secure. If the government can lose millions of people’s data, what’s to say you’re not at risk? Get your tech team to make sure your info is properly encrypted.

How’s your cyber security looking? Is it ship-shape and Bristol fashion? Let us know in the comments.

 

Did you like this digital distraction?  Then have a look at some of other posts on related topics:

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