Whether you’re a business owner or you’re simply concerned about the security of your own data, it’s important to take a few steps to protect yourself online.
Here are 5 key cyber security tips to protect both your personal and company data from hackers.
Keep passwords long and strong
With poor passwords proven to be the number one cause of data breaches, it makes sense to make them as strong as possible. Fearing that they’ll get locked out of their account if they choose a complicated password, many people choose short and snappy words that are easy to remember. However, if a password is easy to remember, it’s often easy to hack, too.
We recommend using passwords that are at least 8-12 characters in length and contain a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. It’s better to use a complicated password and write it down somewhere safe than it is to use the same passwords across all accounts that is easy to remember.
Move your data to the cloud
Cloud computing can have numerous security benefits for both individuals and businesses. For example, if you were to lose your laptop with all your personal documents stored on its hard drive, these could be impossible to recover if the laptop falls into the wrong hands. If, however, you were to lose your laptop but all your documents were stored in the cloud, you could change your login information from another device to prevent people accessing your information.
Be wary of links in emails
Always be careful when you see a link or attachment in an email. If you’re suspicious of it for any reason, don’t click on it and send the email straight to your junk folder.
Remember, Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t always safe
Public Wi-Fi may seem like a great way of getting things done while on the go, but in reality, using Wi-Fi hotspots from your personal devices can leave you vulnerable to hacks. Make sure you have a reliable firewall and anti-virus software. Avoid using Wi-Fi networks for private tasks such as online banking or shopping.
Be careful who you connect with
It’s surprising how much people share on social media. If your information falls into the wrong hands, the consequences could be devastating. Sharing a photo of your pet or celebrating your birthday on social media may seem innocent enough, but people could use this information to access your data, particularly if you haven’t used complicated passwords as suggested above.
Contributed by Synextra, a cloud computing and IT support company based in Manchester in the UK. Synextra can provide businesses with a range of services from hosted desktops to VoIP phones.