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How can you protect yourself from a Cyber Attack?

Cyber Security is a popular topic that is increasingly on everyone’s minds, but, what is a Cyber Attack and how you can protect yourself?

What is a Cyber Attack?

Cyber attacks are performed with malicious intent. In computer systems and networks, an attack is any attempt to expose, alter, disable, destroy, steal or gain information through unauthorised access, or make unauthorised use of an asset.

How can you protect yourself from a Cyber Attack?

There are many actions you can take to protect yourself from a cyber attack. Please read some of our key examples below:

Due Diligence

The most common cause of cyber attacks is through lack of due diligence. It is important to recognise the signs of phishing emails. See examples below:

  1. An email claiming to be ‘Microsoft’, for example, is not sending an email from an @microsoft.com email address, and instead is coming from 123456@gmail.com.
  2. The domain name is misspelled.
  3. The email is poorly written, including poor spelling and grammar.
  4. The email includes suspicious links or attachments.
  5. The message creates a sense of urgency. i.e. ‘You need to click this link now to avoid losing access to your account‘.

Tip: Never open a link or attachment from someone that you don't recognise.

If you receive an email from who you believe is a reputable source, instead of clicking the link in the email, visit your internet browser and visit the website manually via searching for the website on Google instead.

Cyber Attack
Passwords

Don’t share your password with anyone else. Ensure that your password is strong by means of using; uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and we recommend a password length of about 16 characters. It is important not to use the same password across multiple platforms, websites, and applications. Having the same password for everything can be dangerous. Once a hacker figures out your password, they now have access to everything in your system and any application you use. We recommend the use of a password manager to store a multitude of passwords securely.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication, also know as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is an extremely useful feature to use for your accounts. 2FA is an authentication method in which a user will be granted access to an account only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of authentication/evidence that you are the account owner. This could be by means of a text-message with a code or a 2FA app that can generate a code for you.

Anti-Virus Software

Having an anti-virus software or firewall isn’t enough to fully protect you from cyber attacks, but it is a step in the right direction!

Don’t have an anti-virus software already? Check out our Managed Anti-Virus software here.

Backup

If using Cloud solutions such as Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft SharePoint, Google Drive, or Dropbox – make sure that you are saving your files/documents to the Cloud. If not using a Cloud solution, ensure you have a backup, either via an encrypted external hard drive or server backup, for example.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do use a strong password.
  • Do use Multi-Factor Authentication where possible.
  • Do use an Anti-Virus software and keep it updated.
  • Do backup your data.
  • Do control access to your systems. Lock your computer when not in use. On Windows: Windows Key + L. On Mac: Control + Shift + Power
  • Don't share your password with anyone or use the same password across all websites/applications.
  • Don't trust anyone when it comes to emails. If you receive an email with a link that they tell you to visit, i.e. 'Login to your account', visit the website manually instead of clicking the link within the email.
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