As more of us log on from the comfort of our own homes, the use of communication platforms and online tools has soared, making it more important than ever to carry out health checks on your devices, passwords and security settings.
And, one of our specialist cyber officers Jon Hudson from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) has written a guest blog to help steer you in the right direction and make sure you take the appropriate measures to keep yourself, and your data safe from criminals.
He said: “With a lot more of us working from home for extended periods of time we need to think more carefully about our cybersecurity as fraudsters and cybercriminals will try and step-up their efforts in exploiting any vulnerabilities in a home-working set up.
“The good news is that there are many simple steps we can take to protect ourselves in a home working environment.”
So what can you do? Well ask yourself:
- Have I changed my default username and password on my router? A quick internet search on a router’s make and model can reveal their default passwords.
- Is my anti-virus and software the most up-to-date version?
- Do I have strong, separate passwords? It can take seconds for criminals to ‘reverse engineer’ stolen credentials.
- Are you using USBs? Consider what data is being stored and whether this needs to be encrypted.
- Is my Internet traffic secure? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) will encrypt traffic over the internet, making it more secure.
- Is my device more vulnerable to being lost or stolen? Think what data is stored on there? In the wrong hands, could it be exploited?
The current lockdown has also seen a surge in phishing emails as scammers try to take advantage and exploit the situation around COVID19.
If in doubt, think CAUSE
Current events can be exploited to make a scam seem relevant
Authority- is the sender trying to appear official so you’ll pay attention?
Urgency – do you have a limited time to respond?
Scarcity – is the message offering something in short supply such as hand sanitiser?
Emotion – does the message make you fearful or panicked?
Read Jon’s blog here: