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Cyber security is much like protecting your home, while it is all good having an alarm, window locks and even a camera, it’s not much use if you forget the basics and leave the kitchen door open at night or let a bogus gas engineer in to check your supply. Cyber criminals are like water and will find the weakest lowest point. Rather than crack your passwords, they just call and ask you, albeit under the guise of someone you trust. Rather than abseil mission impossible style to get to your server room, they will enter the building with a pizza delivery or even make an appointment as a maintenance engineer or sales rep.

While technology can give us a high level of protection, it cannot always protect you against social engineering based fraud and cyber attacks. So, here are a few do’s and don’ts to reduce your risks:

Don’t

  • Write down login credentials and passwords on post-it notes and stick them on your monitor
  • Use your year of birth as mobile PIN code
  • Enter Office 365 or Gmail credentials just because a caller or website requests it
  • Give you credit or bank card details to someone that contacts you
  • Install Teamviewer or Logmein Rescue (or any other remote access software) if someone calls saying that you have a problem
  • Reuse the same password for websites and online services that keep payment information
  • Put off operating system and software security updates for more than two weeks

Do

  • Log out of computers at the end of the day (or restart them)
  • Call to verify any email requests for payment (lookup the number first though)
  • Turn on the free two-step verification for PayPal, Amazon, Outlook.com and Gmail accounts
  • Where possible, use mobile apps from your bank, instead of online banking
  • Check https://haveibeenpwned.com to see if your email address has been involved in a breach
  • Question anything that looks to good to be true
  • Change your internet connection DNS to 9.9.9.9 if it is not already filtered (see https://quad9.net/)

Read more practical advice in Nick Ioannou’s new book, A Practical Guide to Cyber Security for Small Businesses. Pre-order today for a chance to win an iPad.

About the Author:

Nick Ioannou is an IT professional, blogger, author and public speaker on cloud and security issues, with over 20 years’ corporate experience, including 15 years using cloud/hosted software as a service (SaaS) systems.

He started blogging in 2012 on free IT resources (http://nick-ioannou.com) currently with over 400+ posts. Author of Internet Security Fundamentals, contributing author of two books Managing Cybersecurity Risk and the recently published Conquer The Web.

More free security advice and resources and information on how to contact Nick can be found at www.booleanlogical.com