While the world was already migrating to a more 'online' existence before 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic saw a huge growth in Internet traffic as most people were cut off from their friends, family and communities for much of the year. While the online world provided people with a means to connect with others, there's always a question of computer security to be pondered– something that this year's Computer Security Day is seeking to re-emphasise.
Held on the 30th November 2021, the day is designed to remind users that keeping good cyber safe habits helps to prevent them failing victims to scams, ransomware, malware and loss of personal data.
Considering the growth in online users in the last year, it is probably one of the most important occurrences of Computer Security Day since its inception in the 1980s. However, it's not just users new and old that should consider their habits, though; as more businesses migrate online, it's vital that they have safeguards in place too.
Therefore, we have put together several tips for staying safe online – so, whether you represent a business or you an individual, read on for some great advice on staying safe online.
Computer Security Day 2021 – Tips on keeping your website safe
Keep all your software up to date
Installing the latest versions of any software you may use isn't just great to take advantage of any operational changes, updates also contain crucial security updates that counteract any new cyber threats. It can be easy to skip updates as they can take a couple of minutes to download and install and not seem that important – in reality, it's like not locking your front door when you leave the house. Hackers can easily step through your open door and access your information.
Create passwords that are complex
Good passwords are crucial – and there's more to it than using the name of your first pet or whatever. Hackers use software that combs through dictionaries, so any simple password that contains a 'real word' is atrisk of being cracked. Therefore, having a complex password for all your online activity is essential.
For good password management, you should:
· Have a password that is at least 8 characters long and includes numbers, symbols and punctuation.
· Avoid dictionary words and do not repeat number sequences (e.g. '1111' or 'abcabcabc', etc).
· Use a password manager that lets you safely store accounts and passwords in one place, as well as helping you to pick high-quality secure passwords.
Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-Factor Authentication (also known as 'two-step verification') is a process in which a user has to provide two different authentication methods to gain access to an account. As an example – this could be a password and a phone or e-mail verification. This additional layer of cyber security makes it harder for an attacker to gain access to an account as they'll essentially need two passwords – if 2FA is available to you, it's highly recommended you should use it.
Backup all your data
It sounds obvious, but in the rush to get jobs done, many of us put backing-up our data on the backburner. Having access to a recent backup is critical to your ability to recover from any serious breach of security and/or loss of data. A ransomware attack (in which you're essentially 'bribed' by a hacker to get your information back) can be negated by keeping a backup, for example. Many firms will even have two sets of backups to be extra cyber safe –with one of them being kept on a remote site or offline where possible.
Educate your staff
Finally, the only way to ensure that your security chainsare bound tight is by every link remaining strong – so make sure to educate employees on the importance of keeping up cyber security habits. Aside from the steps mentioned above, computer security breaches can occur with a click of a link on an e-mail – and these scams are becoming more convincing. Staff should be made aware of the consequences of clicking on suspicious e-mails, ads orsocial media posts, and trained to spot a genuine link from one that isn't.
So, here's to Computer Security Day 2021! If you have any questions about your own cybersecurity, why not get in touch with the experts here at Promote?
Promote Agency – Expert eCommerce Solutions
Here at Promote we are a digital marketing agency that offers help and assistance to online brands of all sizes and industries. Aside from our marketing and website-building services, we are also able to offer specialist training courses on all aspects of running an online business –including how to stay atop of your cyber security.
If you would like to learn more about how your business can improve the running of its website, our team are on hand to help in any way we can. Why not consider getting in touch with us for an informal chat? You can call us on 0845 050 2500 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org