Tricks to stay safe online

Cyber security and ensuring you have the appropriate measures in place to keep your information safe online is becoming more imperative as time goes on and the world gets even more tech savvy. Unfortunately, not everyone out there is simply minding their own business – they might be trying to hack in to yours.

You need to protect your data, your network, your customer information and your reputation online. So, how do you make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep it safe? Here’s a few simple treats we’d like to share with you to avoid the tricksters!

1. Install Software Updates

This one may seem simple, but a lot of us see the notifications pop up and think, “Oh, I’ll get to that later.” Keeping all of your devices and software up to date with security patches and upgrades is one of the most effective things you can do to keep your system safe.

You need to make sure:

  • Your devices are still supported by the manufacturer and get software updates (patches) for their operating systems
  • Install any patches to the operating system as soon as they’re available.

Patches are just about changing where the app buttons are or how they look when you unlock your phone, they often fix security vulnerabilities in the background too. Hackers might use these vulnerabilities to gain access to your system, and installing the patches which fix these gaps is a simple way to prevent this from happening.

What to do

  • Set your system preferences to install any new patches automatically if you can. Some systems may need to have their patches tested before they are rolled out. If they have to be tested, make sure your IT support provider has a plan in place to apply them within a few weeks of release.
  • Make sure any servers or computers that you manage for your business run on operating systems that are still supported and patched.
  • If you provide mobile devices to your employees, make sure they also use operating systems that are still supported. Ask your staff to install any patches as soon as they’re available.
  • If staff use their own devices for work (BYOD devices), make sure they’re running supported operating systems and software before they access your business network. Make sure they keep their devices up-to-date too.

2. Use 2 Factor Authorisation – Always!

Most programs (such as Xero) have 2 factor authorisation built in. This means that anyone trying to access your account information will need to provide something else, like a code from a text message to a registered mobile phone or authentication code generator app, on top of their username and password to verify they are who they say they are.

Make sure you have 2FA enabled on key systems, such as;

  • email services
  • document storage
  • accounting software packages
  • banking services
  • social media accounts
  • any systems to used to store customer, personal or financial data.

3. Use a Password Manager

Did you know you’re supposed to have a different password for each and every system that you have access to? Yes, you are!

There are now options for additional software called Password Managers that store (and generate) all the different passwords you need for all your system logins. All you need to do is remember the one password to access the program, then you’re into a secure vault that manages your passwords for you. If you’d like recommendations on which password manager to use, get in touch with our team.

4. Check your privacy online

This might seem like a simple one, but people do get caught out giving out personal information to what seems like a legitimate and credible source requesting it. If a company or business asks you for information, think about why it is exactly they might need it in the first place. If you’re not sure it’s necessary, don’t give it out – it’s that simple.

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