The 12 days of Cyber

On the 12 days of Cyber, the Angels shared with me!

As December is upon us, the attention of many businesses begins to divert away from IT processes and cyber security awareness. As the festivities start to unfold, hackers are using this diversion as the perfect opportunity to dig deep into your business’ data.
We are taking a look at the top 12 cybersecurity awareness tips and while we are at it we decided to do a fresh take on an old favorite to keep the holiday spirit alive and well…

12. Password Tips – take note of these bad habits:

  1. Are you not changing them often enough?
  2. Have you screened them- to see if they have been compromised elsewhere.
  3. Ensure to not recycling the same ones.
  4. Try not let them be too familiar, with things like: pets names/wife/kids.
  5. Do not allow a device to “remember them”.
  6. Avoid using common, easily cracked words/characters – 123456/ qwerty.
  7. Ensure to password protecting your phone.
  8. Try not save your password list on your computer or phone.
  9. Ensure to make them complex enough. (but easy to remember)
  10. Always use upper case, lower case, special characters and numbers.
  11. If you are struggling to remember your different passwords, use a paid for password manager. Needs to be 12 characters or more.

11. Social Media Guidelines

  1. Check your account settings are set to private.
  2. Enable 2-factor authentication on apps that allow it.
  3. Ensure that your email accounts are secure and receive login notifications.
  4. Sign up the correct age.
  5. Put a Google alert on your name.
  6. Always protect your password as it is your online identity.
  7. Set up those “Trusted” and “Legacy” contacts.
  8. Read the applications T’s & C’s.
  9. Have you had a look recently on who your friends and followers are and have you been oversharing?
  10. Check the applications “In-app” purchases.
  11. Understand the difference between Report vs. block on the social media sites.

10. Mobile Hints

  1. Set a pin or password.
  2. Free WiFi may come at a price.
  3. Enable two factor authentication.
  4. Don’t download just anything.
  5. Install an anti-virus on your phone- just in case!
  6. Don’t hate- just update.
  7. See what each of your phone’s applications has access to. (microphone, camera, location)
  8. Turn off autofill – especially with your usernames and passwords.
  9. Log out of an app if you are not using it.
  10. Download applications from trusted sites.

09. Phishing Tips

  1. Don’t trust the display name on an email.
  2. Look and hover over a link but don’t click.
  3. Check for spelling and grammar.
  4. Analyze the salutation for personalisation
  5. Don’t respond to the email with company or personal confidential information.
  6. Beware of urgent or threatening language in the subject line or the body of the email.
  7. Review the signature.
  8. Don’t download attachments.
  9. Don’t believe everything you see.

08. Software Updates

  1. Stop putting it off.
  2. This is important for your phones, tablets and computers!
  3. Check that the automatic updates aren’t disabled.
  4. Remember that by updating it improves the app.
  5. Updates will also help patch security flaws and it fixes bugs.
  6. It will also help protect your data.
  7. REMEMBER: It’s not all about you- if you get a virus, you could pass it on.
  8. TAKE NOTE: You deserve the latest and greatest as updated will introduce new features.

07. Vishing Pointers

  1. Be aware of unsuspecting phone calls.
  2. Don’t give in to pressure from the caller.
  3. Don’t answer phone calls from unknown numbers.
  4. Stay calm and don’t panic, especially if the caller makes you feel uneasy.
  5. Be skeptical of the unknown caller at all times.
  6. Download a call screening app.
  7. If you are hesitant, rather ask them to call back later or you can call the help desk of said company to confirm.

06. Copycat Warnings

  1. Check for the correct URL of an online brand in the web browser. A website with a padlock is safe.
  2. Don’t automatically assume that if a site appears high up in a web search, its genuine.
  3. Be suspicious of deeply discounted prices.
  4. Watch out for poor English such as a typo and grammar mistakes.
  5. If you found the site on Social Media, try to check for the reviews and comments from the users. On the website they should have a live chat with customer service.
  6. Always look for websites that have a secure way of paying – You should never be asked to tell anyone your card’s PIN number.

05. Don’t Post That

  1. Ensure to never share ID or financial information on social media.
  2. Try not post other people’s news or spread fake news.
  3. Ensure to have your geotag location settings off and rather share your holiday posts once you have returned home.
  4. Always keeps those embarrassing photo’s, nudes or whoopsies to yourself.
  5. Do not be a cyberbully or post political or racist remarks.

04. SMiShing Hints

  1. Be aware of unusually long or short numbers.
  2. Did you expect that random family text or should you be suspicious of a long lost family member asking for money?
  3. Have they sent a message with regards or a refund or reactivation? This could be a scam, especially if you were not expecting it.
  4. Does the message say: You’ve won a prize! Can you confirm if you entered into said competition?

03. Public WiFi

  1. Don’t
  2. do
  3. it!

02. Two- Factor Authentication

  1. TFA is an extra step in the process but a second security layer.
  2. This will reconfirm your identity and keep you safe online.

01. A New Sense of Cyber Safety

Written by: Robyn Bartlett