Two ways you can help to keep yourself and the company you work for safe from cyber-attacks (on top of having a good antivirus solution), is to have a strong password / passphrase and to make sure you know the scams that are happening or always be wary of emails that you are not expecting.

Arming yourself with the know-how to avoid risky behaviours can make a substantial impact on your employer’s ability to reduce the risk to their business associated with email.

Strong passwords
Having a strong password / passphrase is a great way to keep your personal information private. Here are some quick tips for a strong password:

• Make sure your password is at least 15 characters long.
• Use a unique phrase instead of just one word.
• Use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and other characters. It only has to make sense to you!
• Always use a different password for each account.
• Don’t choose a password with personal information as this can be easily guessed.
• Change your passwords regularly.

Keep up to date with current scams and ALWAYS be wary of ‘unbelievable’ offers
Always be suspicious of anything out of the ordinary, even if it’s just a stranger or business that has sent you an email with a link. If you are concerned, delete it or call your IT person.

A good rule of thumb is, if an email is real and important and you have deleted it, whoever sent it will be in touch again, so don’t be afraid to delete it if you are worried.

Here are a few extra tips to help protect yourself online:
• Never open attachments or click on links in email messages from unknown senders.
• Change passwords often and use best practices for creating strong passwords.
• Never share passwords with anyone, including co-workers.
• Try to send as little sensitive information as possible via email, and send sensitive information only to recipients who require it.
• Use spam filters and anti-virus software.
• When working remotely or on a personal device, use VPN software to access corporate email.
• Avoid accessing company email from public Wi-Fi connections.

Because technology and social sharing is such a huge part of our daily lives these days, it’s very important to be aware of how vulnerable you may be when surfing the Internet.

By applying some of these tips to your online accounts, you will drastically improve your online safety, but if you have any queries at all about your online safety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your IT team.

Material provided by our friends at Data Protection Consulting www.dataprotection.me.uk

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Learning Point: Check out the security of your home-working environment.

Many people are now working from home and for some people this is a new experience. Even if you are already used to working from home, you may now have additional people in your household sharing your workspace which can add to the challenges, especially if you have school age children.

It is easy to overlook the boundaries between work and home, when you are working from home. To keep a professional image, we need to work at keeping a virtual distinction as much as possible between the two, and dedicate specific time and space for work in your home environment.

Many companies are understanding of intrusions from family members during this difficult period; however, you should still make sure you know what your employer expects from employees working from home by checking the company Remote Working policy. With common sense from employees and understanding from employers, we will all get through this challenging period.

Here are some tips to bear in mind when home working:

  • Before taking part in a video meeting, prepare ahead, checking out a suitable location in which to place your laptop. Test out the video and microphone settings, to ensure you can be seen and heard if needed, or muted and not seen according to your requirements. Remember to check your background.
  • Consider whether you need to secure any company paperwork containing personal information or confidential company data in a lockable cabinet or drawer. If this is not possible, discuss the situation with your line manager.
  • When making work telephone calls, ensure that other household members are not able to overhear the content of confidential conversations.
  • When using email to send or receive work related content use the company VPN (virtual private network). If your company does not have one, then ensure you password protect documents which contain personal data and double-check the recipients of your emails before you send them.
  • Office wastepaper should not be disposed of in domestic dustbins. Wastepaper should be stored securely until it can be taken to company premises for disposal. Ensure that all confidential wastepaper is shredded.

    Material provided by our friends at Data Protection Consulting www.dataprotection.me.uk

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