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The number of businesses being targeted by cyber criminals has unfortunately risen in recent years. And as technology has permeated more and more aspects of our lives, attacks on individuals have also seen as increase. So it is imperative that we all take steps, both in our professional and home lives, to guard against hackers. Cyber crime is a faceless offence and can have devastating consequences for businesses and individuals. As an IT security specialist and managing director of PAV i.t, I am passionate about helping people protect their information and data, and equipping them with the systems to stop them becoming victims. Here I offer my top tips to help you stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.
Most of us wouldn't consider a text from a friend to be the start of a potential scam, especially if they were asking for help. But be wary of messages from distressed friends and colleagues, or even your boss.
Cyber criminals have now found a way of sending you a text that intimates the phone number of someone already listed as a contact. The fraudsters are counting on you trusting the person contacting you because you 'know' them and not thinking twice about going along with whatever they are asking for in the text.
Be cautious - particularly if you receive requests for money or a funds transfer. Ask yourself if the person contacting you would really make such a request over text? Call them and verify the message with them first before you take any action.
Company mobiles can also be susceptible to attack as a fringe device – one that can be used by hackers to get access to wider networks. There are additional steps businesses can take to protect themselves in these circumstances.
Social media has rocketed in popularity in recent years with long-standing programmes such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn being joined by newer names such as Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. Millions of us log on every day to share our good news, holiday snaps and cookery creations, to connect with potential customers or help enhance our business.
But don't be tempted to share too much on these sites. Giving away personal information can make it easier for cyber criminals to piece together your profile and use it fraudulently or attack you personally.
Phone numbers, addresses and anything related to your bank details should be kept confidential. Also keep tabs on your privacy settings and change them accordingly to make sure you are not vulnerable to outside attacks. Similarly, don't connect with people you don't know, no matter how genuine they seem.
Having the right support services in place to protect your business can also help safeguard you and your employees when using social media.
Free public wifi, which allows us to get online wherever we are, is now the norm. But the ease of checking emails in the egg aisle and updating our profile in the pool comes with underyling risks.
A public network is as it sounds – information is sent from your device over an accessible line to another computer. And these lines are ones which cyber criminals can intercept and take details from, such as passwords and usernames, so sensitive information - such as bank accounts - should never be accessed from your local coffee shop or takeaway.
To find out more about how PAV i.t. can help you in the fight against cyber crime get in touch.