The industry of cybercrime has been around since the advent of the internet, and with modern-day malware and vulnerabilities, the industry is growing every day. It also affects one and all of us as we are all connected to the network. Unfortunately there is no real way to completely rid of cybercrime, so, instead, we must always be sure to take certain precautionary steps to ensure that we do not fall foul of these malicious cyber traps. Therefore the proverb ‘Information is Power’ would apply to ensure that we do not let our data fall prey of cybercrime. And here is our simple advice for Cyber Security for small businesses in Belfast and Northern Ireland (Cyber Security Belfast).
Knowledge in Cyber Security
Being well-read and up-to-date with the latest news regarding the techniques of phishing and scamming is the most efficient way to avoid any cybercrime that comes your way. Learning just enough to recognise the ways in which hackers attempt to gather your personal information and trick you into providing them with passwords and sensitive data is a good concrete first step for prevention in cyber security.
Hackers generally lure you into providing sensitive data and information such as banking information, credit card number, social security number or passwords. When you are aware of how they may persuade you into revealing such information, you can refrain from doing so and save your data.
Use a Security Suite or Firewall
A firewall serves as a strong first line of defence against any malware that tries to intrude its way in your system. It is advisable to use the firewall that comes with the security software or the router in case of a home wireless network.
Also, always keep your software updated. For ease of operating, you can turn the auto-update setting on from your security control panel. As hackers can always find different ways to intrude and access to your personal data, you must perform regular scans to keep everything in check. Updating your Operating System or OS as well as browser every now and then is also advisable.
Ensure to make it a habit that you create strong and different passwords for different sites and accounts that are not the most obvious words or dates such as birthdates or anniversaries, middle-names, surnames or your pet’s name. They should contain alphanumeric values and special characters, jumbled and mixed for making a strong password that cannot be easily cracked or guessed.
One must also change their wireless network and router’s administrator password. The default passwords are at times known to the cybercriminals and can help them gain easy access. This applies to the default passwords and passcodes for your cards, net-banking, accounts and e-wallets.
Consider Turning off Personal Assistants
Alexa, Siri and Amazon Echo are some of the most popular smart personal assistants that we use in our homes for the ease of functioning. They are constantly connected to the internet and are listening and recording. Practising caution and having healthy suspicion always keeps you on the safer side.
Data leakage, breach of privacy are common occurrences and the data that you trust sites and devices with, may or may not be going where one may have thought. Hence, a little healthy suspicion does not hurt.
Beware of that Click!
A single click can give away a plethora of entry-ways to any malware or hackers. Whether it is regarding opening of e-mails from unknown sources, opening attachments or links that you were not expecting to receive or the ones coming from unknown or suspicious sources, all these clicks can result in grave consequences of intrusion by malware.
Just one click on an unknown link might land you on a fake website asking private and sensitive information or download malware on your device. Always look for signs that a message is legitimate. Not to mention that any link, whether from a known source or an unknown one, can be malicious as there are viruses that replicate and begin to spread via instant messages or emails.
Surf and Shop Safely
Using a renowned search engine to surf the web or shop online is advisable. It corrects any spelling errors or typos and lands you to the right and authenticated site. Hence, preventing you from landing on any fraudulent or phoney website that is a spell-alike of an authentic website but is actually a malware inducing page asking for personal information. There are free tools and software available that warn you before clicking on a suspicious link or website.
A handy hack is to ensure a site uses ‘https://’ instead of ‘http://’ because that indicates that the site uses encryption. While shopping online, make sure that the site is renowned and secure. Investigate about it before you give away your payment details and password. You can also check for a trust mark or a lock symbol to ensure complete safety before heading to the payment gateway. An easy hack while shopping online is to pay with your credit card and not a debit card. In the worst-case scenario, the authorities might reimburse your money if the site was fraudulent, but in case of the debit card, you will not get that money back.
Don’t Share on Social Media!
It is very easy for hackers to track you or your information down through social media. If you are active on social media, ensure the safety of your data by locking down the personal information. The more you share, the more there are chances of you revealing answers to common security questions. It doesn’t get said enough that the less you share through social media, the better! With that said, surf safe, be suspicious and vigilant. Follow best practices, take precautions in cyber security and don’t fall prey to cybercrime.
Even with the best antivirus software around you can still end up in a lot of trouble if you’re not fully certain of what to look for. And that’s why, at Wilson Computers, we monitor hundreds of computers to protect small businesses in Greater Belfast against cybercrime attacks. At the same time, there is no need to unplug your computer equipment and lug it around town, because we remotely manage Anti-Virus, Backups and Updates using our sophisticated remote cyber security software. And this allows us to fix existing problems as well as further prevent potential threats of cybercrime for small businesses in Belfast. Meaning there is no real need to recruit full-time IT technicians to do it for you. We are also more than happy to give general advice on cybercrime in Northern Ireland.