When it comes to how to use your IT and behaviour on-line, your staff should know how to conduct themselves- its common sense, isn’t it? Here are some helpful reminders of how you should use your IT……. it’s not just sensible but with Ransomware becoming the number one security issue then these are prudent steps.

 Social Media… Be savvy

I can still remember the first time that I used the internet, it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. Now I cannot imagine not using it multiple times throughout the day. Using social media has givenit security issue us all a way to communicate, and not just with our friends and family, but with the whole world. So many people now use social media, even those that shun FaceBook often have a Twitter, Instagram or even a Snapchat. It is all very well when we communicate to people we want to see our posts, but what about those that we don’t?

If your staff are using social media, it is helpful to remind them of the following tips…

  • If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it on social media. You can delete a post but once it is out there and people have shared it (on websites like Twitter) or taken a screen shot, you cannot get it back! So many have made the mistake of getting something off of their chest at the wrong moment and really regretted it.
  • Do not post any sensitive work or personal information. It may sound like something you would never do but even a harmless snap in the office can lead to big trouble. Passing on data unwittingly can happen and you must be aware. Removing all of your personal details such as address and birthdate are a good start for hiding your identity from thieves on FB, but what about those holiday snaps… they just say my house is empty, come rob me, don’t they?
  • Create different passwords for all of your social media accounts. True story… my stepdaughter got hacked recently. Because they guessed her password (which was completely lame as it was a family member name- we will get to that). They had the password for all of her accounts and even internet banking. DOH. She lives in a house with me and can’t get it right… we all need reminders!!!!
  • Lock down your privacy settings so that only your friends can see your posts. Did you see the innocent pregnant woman picture recently that ended up on a fetish site? Or hear the one about the kid targeted because their name was freely available on social media? Enough said.
  • Log out when you are finished. If you loose your device, the accounts will easily be accessed if you have not signed out. I am logged in everything on my laptop, it is a pain signing back in but it is protection. Think, those few seconds will save you endless trouble if your laptop falls in to the wring hands.

Phishing scamPhishing scams… do not get reeled in!

Ever heard of a Phishing scam? You will surely have received an email from your bank asking for all of your personal details and log- on details or a receipt from a website for something you didn’t buy with a link helping you to log in to your account? These emails are trying to get you to pass over all of your personal information… for bad deeds! If you receive any mails that do not seem to be true or are too good to be true, these will be phishing mails… here are a few things to look out for.

  • Forced or fake urgency to get you to respond before you think. You are not getting a refund from HMRC if you log on to the link provided in the next 48 hours. You have also not purchased Good Night Mr Tom from Amazon or paid £19.99 for Beyonce’s latest album on Apple… unless you actually have of course. Do not log on using the link in order to cancel the purchase as the mail states.
  • Offers of a prize reward- asking you to click on a link. It is not true. So sorry.
  • Asking for your password or other confidential data for security purposes. If you are worried your bank account has had a fraud, DO NOT use the link provided on the mail. Call your bank or pop in to a branch to check it out. They can then tell you it is a scam.
  • Website addresses which are similar but not quite the same as the real thing. google.com vs g00gle.com watch out for those mis spellings and dodgy characters.
  • Use ‘masked’ links that look like a trusted web address but take you somewhere else when you click on it. (Hovering over the link will tell you the address it is linked to)
  • Emails that appear to come from a senior employee at your organisation.
  • Poor spelling and grammar. Init………

password protection The MOST important little thing that everyone can do is to change their passwords. Make them difficult to hack and have different ones for all of your log ins. A really great password is…………..

  • At least 14 characters long
  • Are a phrase, not just a word. Hards0ftisG£eat rather than just Hardsoft1!
  • Contain upper and lower case plus punctuation
  • Are not single words in any language/ slang or dialect
  • Are not based on personal information, such a family names etc. Remember my last true tale.

By following these simple tips, your staff will greatly reduce the chances of getting hacked. Businesses need to be protected on all fronts, it is important to remind your staff and peers of these simple steps. We have these important hints available in two A2 posters that are handy to display in communal areas. If you email info@hardsoft.co.uk then happy to send these out free. Only have limited amounts though !

At HardSoft we take customer service seriously. We want to help you protect your business against pitfalls which can be so easily avoided. HardSoft specialise in leasing computers to business users all wrapped in a support package. The Network packages for both PC and Apple Mac include Pro Active support. A PC Network with 5 PC’s and a Server on a Gold Support package, all installed, is £49 plus VAT per week. The Gold Support includes Sophos Intercept X that essentially protects a system from Ransomware.

With over 30 years trading experience and as a reseller for multiple software (AVG, Sophos, Malware Bytes) manufacturers, we can offer you up to date and impartial advice. Contact our Helpful Sales Team on 0207 111 1643 today to check out these great deals or for a bespoke quote.

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