Did you know that 75% of UK companies have had their security breached over the past year? The cost to British industry is huge, running into the billions of pounds. According to a recent PwC survey, the main culprits are computer viruses, staff misuse and hacking.
Because technology is vulnerable, we are too. We rely on it to organise practically every area of our personal and working lives, and the idea that our personal data could be stolen is horrifying.
So what can YOU do to stay safe?
Here are our top tips on how to protect your online information:
- Use a different, hard-to-guess password for your personal and work computer, and for each of your online accounts. Change these often.
- Ignore suspicious emails, especially those offering something too good to be true; criminals regularly promise the world to get their hands on information!
- Don’t open links on emails from people you don’t know or go to web pages you don’t trust.
- Make sure you have good, fully patched and updated anti-virus software installed on your computer.
- Thoroughly research all online sellers you plan to use. And remember, the internet doesn’t make anything cheaper: a car advertised for significantly less than the going rate online should immediately set off alarm bells.
- Keep your browser and operating system up-to-date: criminals fully know how to exploit security problems in old software, so don’t ignore those updates reminders!
- Always sign out when using a public computer, or the next person to use that machine may take some liberties with your information.
- Ensure that all of your mobile devices (and even your desktop) automatically lock after a certain period of time.
- Only use secure networks. Wifi providers may have the ability to monitor traffic on their network, meaning that all of your information may be harvested at a mere glance.
- Report any suspicious emails, websites, or scams to the police. The more that people do this, the safer everyone ends up.