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Are You Protected from Cybercrime?

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It won’t come as a surprise to many that cybercrime is on the rise. Accenture’s State of Cybersecurity Resilience 2021 report states that security attacks increased by 31% from 2020 to 2021. Whether it’s a data breach, malware or ransomware attack it can have a profound impact on your business through financial cost and reputational damage.

With this in mind I’ve outlined some guidance to help you stay safe and secure online.

Keep your software up to date

If you have the latest software and operating system on your computer you’ll benefit from the protection provided by the latest security patches. It makes it harder for hackers to gain access to your resources.

Use anti-virus software

Anti-virus software protects you by scanning, detecting and removing any threats before they become a problem. It works best when it’s kept up to date.

Use strong passwords

It should go without saying that strong and complex passwords are essential! As cyber criminals use sophisticated technology with efficient algorithms to hack passwords they need to be unique. Key tips include:

Don’t re-use passwords, make it original every time
Avoid common words and sequences
Make it long, over 12 characters
Use a variety of character types to make it unpredictable
Use a passphrase combining unrelated words in an unexpected order
Use a random character string with a mnemonic to make it memorable
Alternatively, use a reputable password manager to generate strong passwords randomly and remove the need to remember them all.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

MFA provides another level of protection because it requires more than just a password to gain access to your resources. The authentication mechanism needs two or more pieces of evidence which only the correct user is likely to know (password, OTP), have (physical object) or be (physical characteristic).

Be mindful of who you’re trusting

Never open attachments or click on links in spam emails. Remember that phishing emails intend to trick you into revealing sensitive information and can be very sophisticated. Pay attention to the URLs you’re clicking on, especially with unfamiliar websites. Don’t give out any personal data in emails or on the phone unless you are sure it’s secure.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of cybercrime contact Action Fraud as soon as possible:

Investing a little time in your online security will help you get a better night’s sleep!


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