We are bombarded with advice from everywhere about how to protect our phones, laptops and tablets. It is so difficult to believe that there really is that big of a deal to protecting these small black screens we use every day. “I don’t have anything worth stealing” or “why would I get targeted?” are comments I get every day from people while working in security.
Your name, email address, date of birth and details about you that make up your data, I’m afraid to say, is incredibly valuable. Even if you only use your laptop for essays and coursework, how would you feel if I took that from you?
Installing an anti-virus and firewall on your computer is key, click on a dodgy download or link and without it, you won’t necessarily know that your device is infected.
Passwords, we all truly hate passwords. Trying to remember even the simplest of ones is a tough job, so we tend to use the same one across all our log ins. Think about using a password manager, individual, complex passwords without the pain of remembering.
On your social media or device accounts, set up two-factor authentication (2FA) in the settings. If I get a hold of your Apple ID or Google account, I basically own your soul. By setting up 2FA, it sends a code to your device, if someone attempts to log in to your account.
Back up your data! Whether it is to a separate drive or to the cloud. Do it regularly.
USB Sticks, we all use them. They are however like the unprotected sex of technology, we stick them in one hole and then in another and never think to check for viruses. Dreadful analogy, but I am sure you will never look at a USB stick in the same way again. Think about scanning the files or transferring using an alternative method like the cloud or email. It is all about valuing the data that you give out about yourself and that you store on your devices. Protect what is a big part of your life.
If you have been a victim of cybercrime or fraud, contact www.actionfraud.police.uk
For further information and advice around protecting both yourself and your devices, visit www.getsafeonline.org