• Mark Ledgerwood

5 Simple ways Boost Cyber-security

Cyber-security has always been a concern for business and personal use.


With technology constantly evolving it's natural that cyber-attacks have evolved with it. An example can be seen in the development of phishing kits that can replicate respectable organisations such as Google or PayPal.






However, there are many ways one can beef up their cyber-security, whether it's personal or professional some of the easiest fixes take minimal effort to implement while thickening the security greatly.


2FA


Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is readily available cyber-security tool on almost every modern device and provides an extra layer of security to personal accounts. It is used to make sure that people trying to gain access to online personal accounts such as bank accounts or emails are who they say they are.


Without two-factor authentication, a person would normally enter a username and password. But, with two-factor, they are prompted to enter one additional authentication method such as a Personal Identification Code, another password or even fingerprint. Furthermore With multi-factor authentication, a person would be prompted to enter more than two additional authentication methods after entering your username and password.





Use Unique Passwords and Change Them Regularly


This sounds like a simple cyber-security concept, and it really is. With the world already being extremely online-based, most people have accounts for several websites. However, all too often people use the same password for this range of websites. Use a unique password for every website, if every account someone has shares the same password that means a hacker has access to their entire life. It can be difficult to remember a variety of passwords but there are password management tools that store your passwords in one place.


Another thing to consider is changing the password regularly. Certain websites like Facebook regularly suggest changing the password, and this is definitely something to consider. When creating a new password the advice has changed. Realistically, modern cyber-criminals don't necessarily have to hack through trial and error anymore, they can use computer coding that allows their computer to guess for them, and a 14 character random combination made up of letters and numbers isn’t that hard for a computer to guess. Instead, try using unusual combinations of easy to remember words, such as “doctorparsnipcurvaceous”.



Backup Your Data

Backing up data on all devices by copying it to another location is essential for cyber-security. When someone is targeted by a cyber-attack, they may not be able to access their devices.


However, a backup is only as useful as the data that’s on it. If a backup is not up-to-date you’ll still lose any photos or documents you’ve made since.


There is also the well-practiced solution of using a cloud service provider. ACS offers a secure cloud backup service that replicates a business's infrastructure, and sends it off to two separate locations. As for personal use, there are a range of cloud providers you can use.



Don't Put Off Updates, Even if Your Too Busy


We have all been guilty of it. When that little dialogue box pops up saying “an update is available, update now?” and we click postpone, but often this does more harm than good.


As much as it may seem like an annoying child constantly bugging you, updates do more than just add new features. They are also about fixing weaknesses, or vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities are parts of the app or software that can be used for purposes other than those intended. It’s through these vulnerabilities that attackers can gain access to your device and your information.


When vulnerabilities are identified, the developers quickly change the code to resolve the issue and send it to your device as a software update, often through your app store. Timing is important here — the sooner your system is updated, the better your cyber-security, and the less time an attacker has to find and use these weaknesses.




Assess Your Digital Footprint


Remember the early days of web browsing? Taking the daily yahoo quiz? Catching up with the latest news on MSN? Or even chatting with your friends on MySpace? Well, these can still contribute to your digital footprint years later. Although details like your expired credit cards, old email address and social media profiles may seem irrelevant, it can make you an easy target for data thieves.


The simplest way to audit your digital footprint is to enter your name in a search engine and then delete or deactivate any old accounts that pop up. As an additional precaution, visit your internet browser’s privacy settings and choose to disable third-party cookies to eliminate unwanted web tracking.


interested in how you can boost your cyber-security for your business or otherwise? Contact one of the team at ACS.


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