Swindon & Wiltshire Business News


IT experts give tips for staying safe online

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The Priority IT teamThe Priority IT teamWestbury-based IT experts Priority IT are marking Safer Internet Day on Tuesday (February 5) by issuing a checklist for businesses.

“Safer Internet Day’s slogan, ‘Together for a better internet’, is a call to action for all stakeholders to join together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for younger users,” said Priority IT managing director Kieran Thomas.

“As a responsible IT support company, that includes the team here at Priority IT, so we are doing our bit. In 2018 the collective activity reach 45 per cent of UK children and 30 per cent of parents! Let’s hope that, together, we reach even more people this year.”

Priority IT’s top ten tips are:

  1. Setup two factor, or multifactor authentication. Most online services allow you to set up 2FA/MFA, this is where once you have logged in with your username and password another code is requested, normally from your phone. This means that if anyone gets your password, they also require physical access to your phone.
  2. Don’t use simple passwords, as these can be cracked, but think about using a password manager, such as Dashlane or Roboform.
  3. Never reuse passwords on multiple website or services.
  4. If you are asked to transfer money via email or if a supplier or client tell you they have changed bank details, follow up via a telephone call to the requestor to confirm. Don’t reply to the email, as it’s likely you will be communicating with the fraudster as the fraudster may have access to the mailbox.
  5. Keep your online personal self separate from your online business self. Privacy tools on Facebook can be used to lock down your personal profile.
  6. Always be suspicious of emails that ask you to login to a service when clicking a link.
  7. Don’t rely on the SSL padlock symbol as a symbol of trust. SSL certificates are free for anyone and having one does not mean the site is ‘safe’. It simply means the data is encrypted. Fraudsters are now using legitimate services to hide behind, or simply creating their own SSL Certificate.
  8. Be careful what you upload and post to the internet. Once it is there, it is there forever! Certain sites allow you to delete things, but other sites index them so that anything deleted can be uncovered. Information you post can be used to help criminals target you and use social profiling techniques.
  9. Microsoft or other companies, such as BT and TalkTalk, will never call you to tell you your computer is infected with a virus. These are scam phone calls designed to scare you into paying for their services and to steal your personal information.
  10. Check if you have been a victim of a data breach; depending on the data breach, your username and passwords may be on the Dark Web. Experian offers a free Dark Web email scan.

“The last thing to ask yourself is this: if the worst happens, and you’re hit by a cyber attack, do you have a backup of your critical data?" said Kieran.