It's Cyber Security Awareness Month and this year's overarching message - Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. - will focus on key areas including citizen privacy, consumer devices, and e-commerce security.
Anna Collard, managing director of Popcorn Training
To help users out this Cyber Security Awareness Month, Anna Collard, managing director of Popcorn Training, a KnowBe4 company, compiled a list of things you should be thinking about whenever you’re using the internet.
- Don’t click on direct links (in emails, text messages, etc.), especially those that are asking you to enter sensitive information. It's best to go directly to the source.
- Don't respond to phone requests asking for personal or financial information. If you are concerned, find the correct number and call the organisation yourself.
- Don't overshare on social media. These details can provide hackers with your location, ammunition to craft spear phishing attacks, and answers to security questions.
- Ignore emails which claim to have your password and say they’ve seen you visit bad websites, or recorded you in compromising positions.
- Be sceptical of any request to change banking or wiring instructions, even if from a trusted person who you regularly conduct business with. Always verify before following through by calling the person using a previously discussed phone number.
- Don’t reuse passwords across your critical accounts or sites, such as online banking, social media, email and work accounts.
- Always be sceptical of any unexpected invoice, or request to get or pay for anything by using gift cards.
- Use multi-factor authentication wherever possible. This is combining your password with something you own, like a one-time password app on your phone. (i.e. Google Authenticator)
- Know where to report suspicious emails to at your workplace. Don’t delete the email – report it.
- Invest in a password management tool – nobody has the time to remember all those passwords!
- Be vigilant with suspicious SMSs or WhatsApp requests. Your bank will NEVER ask you to access your account from an SMS.
- Cybercriminals are highly organised and motivated by financial gain. They have learnt to trick us by “hacking” our emotions. Pay attention to anything triggering a feeling – positive or negative. And always think before you click.
Online safety is more important than ever nowadays since security threats are around every corner on the internet. If you keep these basic safety ideas in mind when using the internet, then you'll avoid many of the nasty surprises that lurk online.