Cybercrime has risen sharply during the past year, both in scale and sophistication. There is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach to cyber security, as the diversity and complexity of online activity increases every day. However, there are still steps that everyone should take to stay safe online, whether they are working remotely or carrying out personal tasks.
Some of the most common cyber threats to individuals and businesses include the hacking of social media passwords and emails, phishing— the sending of emails with fake identities to fraudulently obtain personal information— and using links to install malicious software that can mine security details and other sensitive data.
Anyone working for a business remotely should never use public wi-fi in a coffee shop or train, unless they have set up a personal hotspot or VPN. Without these minimum security precautions, literally anyone could hack the company’s data.
Even with online safety measure in place, anyone working in a public space should be extra vigilant about physical security, as criminals may target someone they have spotted crunching numbers on a laptop. Be aware of who is sat behind you, in case they are watching or recording what you are doing.
Don’t leave devices in your car, even hidden out of sight, and take them with you if you need to use the conveniences. Carry your laptop in a secure cross-body bag, rather than a backpack which is easy for potential thieves to access on public transport.
Always choose strong passwords, and don’t reuse the same one for multiple sites. Automatically updating anti-virus software and two-factor authentication should be the minimum standard for anyone using apps to access data and software remotely. All emails and stored data should be encrypted, to avoid a serious breach should the device be stolen.
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