News Jul 15th 2016

Cyber security for dummies

Security guards

There are thousands of cyber security threats that may damage your computer and/or steal your identity. The only positive side is that there are so many computers and users out there that there is a level of safety in numbers to be had within the online world. Nevertheless, here are a few UK cyber security tips that you can use right now to dramatically improve your online safety and security.

Before reading the article take this quiz and find out how aware are you

1. Turn your Windows security settings as high as they will go

On a Windows PC, laptop or device, you have the option of setting your Internet security options to “High.” This will stop things such as cookies and other information being saved on your computer. It will also block you from riskier websites. It also makes it more difficult for you to sign up for new accounts, but you may create exceptions where your computer will allow you to do things such as allow popups and allow cookies, so that you may use certain websites that you trust.

2. Use a paid and brand named firewall and online security company

Branded companies that have an international brand and have been around for a long time are more trustworthy. The types you find online that are free, or that asks you for money despite the fact they are small companies, are simply not good enough or powerful enough. Check a great deal of review websites to find the best ones.

3. Do not believe every email or message you read

Some emails are poorly written and look like fakes, and then there are others that claim strangers have tried to enter your account, and they tell you that you need to change your password. Online messages and emails may not be as honest or legitimate as they first seem. Soon, you will get a sense for what is real and what is not, especially when the website looks like a legitimate one, and yet it wants your information from you.

4. Veer on the side of don't rather than do

If you are in two minds about an online activity, be it entering your email so you may read an article, or be it signing up for a new credit card, try to veer on the side of not doing it rather than doing it. Allow “not” to be your default decision, as this will plump up your UK cyber security significantly. Most people are scammed or conned because of something they started and instigated.

5. Separate home and business computers

Different computers are targeted by different people. It is often wise to separate your home computer and the computer you work on. This will stop any hackers gaining access to both. The people that are after your PayPal account will hack your home computer, and those after your website login details will hack your work computer.

6. Strong passwords that you write down on paper

Create strong passwords of over 12 characters, and it becomes more of a hassle to hack you. In addition, you should never store your passwords in digital form. You should always write them down on pieces of paper and then store the paper somewhere inconspicuous. There are plenty of cyber security threats, and it is true that people can crack any password no matter how long. However, when there are twelve characters, it is often more difficult and time consuming for the hackers.

7. Do not use default usernames or passwords

Any form of default password or username is bad for your online security. If you leave your default username, then hacker will already have the first part of your password/user-account puzzle. If you do not change the password, then you will be hacked very easily because people will find out your username and try a default password.

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