Top 5 Tips for Cyber Security

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Here are 5 of the top tips for cyber security according to the government. For a full list of 11 tips check out this link. Click me

1. Back up your data

Backing up the data on your devices — by copying it to another, separate location — is one of the most important things you can do. If you’re targeted by a cyber attack you may not be able to access or use your computer, phone, or any of your other devices. But, if you’ve backed your data up you won’t lose any of it, regardless of what ends up happening to your device.

What to do

  • You can either:

  • get an external hard drive and do an 'offline' or 'cold' backup, or

  • sign up to a cloud based service like Dropbox and do a cloud backup.

  • Back up your data regularly — for example, every week.

Back up your devices

2. Keep your devices and your apps up-to-date

When you’re alerted to an update for your device or one of your apps, don’t ignore it — install it as soon as possible. Updates aren’t just about adding new features. They’re also about fixing vulnerabilities in a device or an app that attackers could find and use to gain access to your system. If your device can’t receive updates anymore, we recommend planning to upgrade to a newer model.

What to do

  • Keep the software for your devices and apps up-to-date.

  • Better still, set your system preferences to update them automatically — then you don’t have to think about it.

  • Remove any apps you don’t use any more from your devices.

Keep up with your updates

3. Choose unique passwords

We all have so many online accounts now that it’s become hard to keep track of all of the passwords we need for them. To combat this, many of us use the same password for all of our accounts, or stick to two or three different ones that we use over and over. The problem with this is that if an attacker gets access to one of your account passwords, it often gives them access to many of your other accounts as well.

What to do

  • Use a different password for every online account you create.

  • Try using a password manager, which will store and manage your passwords for you. The password manager will be the only account you need to remember login details for.

  • Think about using a short phrase or add a few random words together to create a passphrase, rather than a password. Passphrases are usually stronger and easier to remember than passwords.

  • You can add a mix of letters, numbers and symbols to make your passphrase more complex, for example 'Wint3r here 1s warmer than Summ3r'.

  • Review the passwords for some of the accounts you’ve had for a while, they probably have weaker or reused passwords.

How to create good passwords

4. Turn on two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is another way that you can help to protect your online accounts from being hacked. You can choose to have a code sent or generated on your device, like your phone, that you can use to authenticate who you are every time you log in. That way, even if someone gets access to the account password, if they don’t have your phone to receive the code they can’t get into your accounts.

What to do

  • Turn on two-factor authentication for your important accounts, such as your email and social media accounts.

  • If several types are available, choose the option that isn’t SMS, as SMS is less secure. Using SMS as your second factor is still much safer than not using 2FA.

Using 2FA to protect your accounts

5. Be creative with the answers to your account recovery questions

When you set up a new account online, you’re often asked to set an answer to an ‘account recovery question’. These are generally used as a way to identify you if you forget your password and need a prompt. They’re often based on easy to remember things about you — like your mother’s maiden name, the name of your first pet or where you went to school. Unfortunately, these are also easy things for an attacker to find out, and could be used to gain access to your accounts without your knowledge.

Thanks for reading!