10 Simple Steps to Improve Security

If you read our last blog post, you’ll have learned the truth about the most common misconceptions when it comes to Internet security.

Today, we’d like to provide you with 10 easy steps to heighten your security both at work and at home.

#1: Use strong passwords for email and social media

NEVER use the same password for more than one online account. Why? If one account is compromised, then others will follow. We know asking you to set completely different passwords for all of your accounts is a stretch but try to use at least variations e.g. usualpasswordFB! usualpasswordINSTA#

Want brownie points? One of the best methods of protection is using 2FA (Two-factor authentication). Along with your password, you’ll have to enter a code sent to your email address or mobile phone.

#2: Stay safe from spyware and financial stealing malware with a specialist security add-on

It sounds James Bond, we know. But these attacks are on the rise, getting worse and cannot be caught by traditional antivirus programs. We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of ransomware at this point, unless of course you live on the moon.

SYS3 recommend using Heimdal Security as a bolt-on to your existing antivirus. Unlike traditional AV, it scans live traffic in and out of your systems to catch things as they happen, not after the event.

#3: Keep your operating system and apps updated!

Software vulnerabilites are always in the news but many people don’t act on them. If you don’t update your software, you’ll leave security holes open. It’s the cyber equivalent of leaving your front door unlocked. Software updates don’t just improve performance, they fix known security flaws!

The worst offenders? Java, Adobe Flash (actually, anything Adobe), Chrome, FireFox… Criminals constantly watch these apps for flaws. Combined with the human races’ reluctance to perform updates and you have the perfect hacking scenario.

Don’t ignore updates. Set apps to update automatically if available.

#4: Use a standard user account on a daily basis

In Windows, you can set different levels of permissions for each account. If you are one of the privileged who have administrative rights…don’t use that account for your day to day usage. Switching to admin when you actually need it is far safer.

Why? You can ensure that, even if you get infected with malware, the damage will be limited. No admin rights = reduced rights for the hacker.

#5: Go online with a secure browser

Your browser is the main tool you use to browse the Internet and you should pay a great deal of attention to how secure it is.

Why? Vulnerabilities in browsers are open invitations to cybercriminals and we bet you let Google remember your passwords…

Choose the latest version, update it regularly and make sure your banking sites and any other site containing sensitive data is secure. Look for https://

#6: Don’t trust public or free Wi-Fi networks!

It’s SO tempting to connect to a free network but they are one of the favourite methods used by cybercriminals to get your private information by using ‘sniffers’ to access data sent over unprotected networks.

If you must connect, use a ‘private’ browsing session or VPN so your details aren’t stored locally and don’t access banking or other highly sensitive sites.

#7: Check the link before you click it

Phishing threats are usually sent via email from your ‘bank’ or ‘mum’ These attempt to take private information from you by enticing you to click on a link and enter sensitive data, such as your email credentials.

Top tip: To check a link, hover your mouse over it (don’t click!) and see if it is pointing to a legitimate location. If it’s supposed to be your bank and it shows ‘hfie088.net’ DON’T click it! There are also a number of free tools available to help you check links.

#8: Don’t forget to log out!

This may be pointing out the obvious, but how many times have you just closed the browser when you’re finished with onling banking or Facebook rather than physically signing out?

If you don’t sign out, particularly on a shared computer, the next person who opens that particular site will likely be straight onto your account.

#9: Don’t overshare on social media

Exposing personal details on social media can lead to it falling into the wrong hands. For this reason, check your kids’ social media behaviour to make sure they don’t unknowlingly expose private information that could be used against you, such as your home address. We’ve all seen this plonker online haven’t we?!

#10: Don’t access questionable web locations

Last but not least…we’re going to point out the obvious.

Don’t access or download content from unkown controversial locations, such as torrent websites (even though the Odeon is a rip-off and you have the newest Marvel movie at your fingertips).

Please only access websites that are proved safe and you can trust. We know it’s not a guarantee you wont be infected but this rule gives you the best odds.

Do you want to know how strong your security is? Contact SYS3 today for a free, no obligation audit of your network security.

Let’s have a chat

Whether you want a complete shake-up of your current IT services or an answer to simple question, SYS3 are always happy to help. Contact us today for a free, no obligation chat about your requirements.

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  • Enjoy no-contract, unrivalled support across Essex and Suffolk

We know moving IT services can be a daunting task but we promise it’s much easier than you think. When you’re ready to talk, we’re here, happy to help

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    Backing up should be everyones top priority. All too often we see businesses decide to start backing up the wrong side of a costly hard drive disaster or data breach.

    With viruses and malware now capable of causing so much, often irreversible, damage, a substantial backup is imperative. If you’re infected with ransomware, a recent backup often the only way to get you back up and running.

    Why offsite backup and not a removable hard drive?

    Preferably both! But never just a hard drive. Why? Hard drives can fail. It’s as simple as that. Ransomware infections can also creep onto hard drives if they’re left plugged into an infected machine. 

    ​SYS3 use the most reliable and intelligent backup solutions on the market to ensure that our customers’ data is kept secure.

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    Years ago, SYS3 started out by building and supplying custom computer hardware. We know our stuff.

    We keep up with the latest in technology so we are able to provide our customers with the best possible equipment without breaking the bank. Whether you need a new server, laptop, printer or network switch, we’ll always provide you with a variety of options and recommendations to suit your business needs.

    The more advanced technology becomes, the more advanced the bad guys become. Gone are the days when attackers were easy to spot in a badly worded email.

    ​Did you know you can get an infection just by hovering your mouse over a dodgy website banner? Worse? Traditional antivirus products cannot protect you against everything.

    ​Human error is still largely responsible for infections and viruses but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the best protection possible to safeguard your employees and ultimately, your business.

    ​Partnered with Heimdal, SYS3 provide market-leading protection that is proactive, not reactive like traditional antivirus.


    Spam email makes up 70% of ALL email traffic across the world and social engineering means scammers can directly target key employees. Is your job title on social media?

    Over 60% of breaches are caused by human error. Are you confident that your staff are fully trained to spot email-borne threats and avoid falling victim?

    How SYS3 can help

    Just one click has the potential to grind your entire business to a halt and generate a costly bill to put right. What makes things worse is that email viruses are now incredibly clever, highly convincing, and can be very difficult to spot.

    ​Our priority is to make sure our customers are supported and protected as much as possible. 99% of our customers have adopted our mail filtering service and it comes highly recommended. It’s the first line of defence and a vital tool.


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