BLOG SERIES: Your guide to digital safety part three
Part three of three: top tips to be cyber safe.
In our series on digital safety, we've been exploring all the top tips to help you stay safe online. Part one featured all the tools you can use to provide physical protection for your systems, part two explored how you can support your staff to protect your system and our final part concludes with top tips to be cyber safe...
A guide to being cyber smart, to share with your employees...
As we covered in part two of this digital series, human error is very often the overriding factor in how a system gets breached. This means getting your staff confident with cybersecurity is essential to keeping your systems secure. That's why we've put together a guide to being cyber smart that you are welcome to share with your team.
How to be Cyber Smart:
There are plenty of things you can do to be a bit more cyber smart, but one of them is to apply your common sense and trust your gut. If something feels too good to be true it probably is, and if you don't know the sender, why would you trust them? Nobody is perfect, but remember to think before you click and follow our top tips to help you be savvier...
- Verify who they are: if you can't verify who a caller or email sender is, then think before you speak and don't give out any valuable information. There are plenty of scammers making calls to gain access to your PC (or the ones at the moment purporting to be from NHS track and trace and trying to charge you for a test) none of whom are legitimate. If you're receiving an unknown call, then ask where they are calling from and request a number that you can call them back on. You can then look up the number and see if they were legitimate. If it's an email you are unsure of, look at the sending address and then a quick internet search will tell you if its actually from that company or just something that looks similar.
- Don't take any costly actions: there are plenty of scammers who send invoices that look like a company you've worked with before. Don't just automatically send it on to accounts, but instead think whether you have commissioned any work recently, what they might be charging you for, and if it is right. Check it against your in-office system (like PO numbers or accounts references) and if there is any doubt at all, contact your representative at that company. They will soon set you straight.
- If you receive a suspicious email, delete it and don't reply, and don't unsubscribe either. Your best bet is to block the sender too. Some strange emails are used to verify if your email address is working so that they can send you a new scam in the future, while some come already loaded with scams and viruses to catch you out. Even worse, they don't care if you 'unsubscribe' as this can simply validate that your inbox is legitimate and manned. If you are unsure who the sender is and it looks to be from a real organisation, find their official website and call them to check. Do not use the number in the email or the link as these can be spoof contact details. Although these aren’t concrete factors, things like blurry logos, spelling errors, odd spacing, incorrect names, and the like can all suggest an email is suspicious. The one caveat is that criminals are getting savvier and more sophisticated so spam emails will often look legit. If in doubt, delete it.
- Don’t click on links or open files unless you’re sure you know where they are coming from. Hopefully, if you do click one, your antivirus will intervene, but it is always better not to click it if you don’t need to. Don’t forget, friends and family will often forward on chain emails with funny jokes or videos, but these can hide nasty files too
Perhaps most importantly, trust your instincts. If something feels off or it feels too good to be true, then it probably is! Scammers are always finding new ways to trick people, so if you feel you have been tricked, don’t suffer in silence - talk to your friends and family for support. There is nothing to be embarrassed about as these criminals manipulate people all the time and you will not be on your own. You can also report scams to the police via the Action Fraud website.
If for any reason you are unsure at any point, please give us a call on 01453 700 800 and we will happily work with you to help keep you safe from these threats.