Few of us would leave our front door open, but we are far more careless when we’re online.

People who don’t use basic security are exposing themselves to criminals who want to steal information – from bank information to holiday dates so that homes can be burgled. They are also exposing their friends – An insecure device can spread malware quickly through your contacts book.

This carelessness is dangerous, but easy to fix.

Last year I delivered a series of courses to business owners about the importance of social media safety and generally about remaining safe online. I found that there were some common questions that came up and most concerns were genuine. I’ve popped a few points and facts below. Firstly let’s ask some questions as all of these things have an impact.

How often do you use the internet? You are at risk every time.

How much information about you is online? Have to tried Googling yourself or your business? You will be shocked at the results.

How easy is it for a stranger to find this information? They only need to do the Google search as above.

What could a stranger find out about you from the internet? This is where having a private (business centre) postal address comes in. Even postcodes can be tracked down to the last 5 houses. Just saying!

Who is interested in the information you share online? Hackers, business competition and identity theft experts spring to mind.

What information are you sharing online? THINK!

Who do you count as a friend on the internet? I’ve personally had a clear down of many of my social media accounts. There are too many robots following for starters. Waste of time!

Who protects you on Facebook? Actually, Mark Zuckerberg does and they do quite a good job of helping you to lock down your information. Make sure you check out the security settings on Facey the next time you are on (desktop version is better).

Are you the only person who knows your password? Do you use the same password for everything? Make sure that you change passwords regularly. I know it’s a faff!

Do you have up to date anti-virus software on your machine? This will depend on your machine and technology etc as to what you need.

Do you check that nobody is watching you enter your pin numbers and passwords? There are some clever and determined people out there.

Do you keep an eye on your social media privacy settings? As I’ve mentioned, it’s worth looking at this.

Do you check for the HTTPS and padlock symbol when surfing, banking and shopping online? Your business website should have one of these now. It makes you look more professional too for this reason.

Do you download security updates to all of your devices? Please do this as you will only be sorry later.

Could someone guess your password? People tend to use significant dates, their place of birth, pets names, the names of family members, favourite holiday or football team. Are you using anything too obvious?

 

More info here from the Coop Bank.

The UK is facing an ongoing, persistent threat of cyber-attack from other states, terrorists and criminals operating in cyberspace.

Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure

If you like what you have read, or are abit confused, or now need some tea and cake – Then get in touch! Use the Contact Me form on this website and I’ll get right back to you!