To help you avoid these incidents, we’ve compiled a list of things you should consider when using your email and the Internet in general. If you are running a business, firewalls and antivirus software are the basic tools to increase security, but these alone do not guarantee protection from criminals using social engineering to dupe users into opening up security holes.
Use a strong mix of characters, and try not to use the same password for multiple sites or services. Never share your password with others, and never write it down.
Malware can be spread through infected flash drives, external hard drives, and even smartphones.
If a link or attachment arrives unexpectedly, treat it with a healthy dose of caution. Modern criminals are very good at crafting emails that appear genuine and difficult to spot. Double check if the sender email address matches the expected one. When you hover your mouse over the URL/link, does the popup match the text displayed in the mail? Even unusually poor spelling or grammar can alert you to something phishy.
Sensitive browsing, such as banking or shopping should only be done on a device that belongs to you, on a network you trust. Whether it’s a friends phone, a public computer, or a café’s free WiFi – your data could be copied or stolen.
Back up your data regularly, and make sure your anti-virus software is always up to date. This task can be a pain for a lot of people especially if you have never been attacked, but it is probably the only thing that will 100% cover you if an attack results in massive data loss.
This rule applies to all devices; your computer, phone, or tablet, or even hard drives kept in drawers. Tip: Pressing Windows and the ‘L’ key on your PC will lock it quickly.
Criminals can use the information you share freely on the social media to build a very detailed profile of who you are, and this information can then be used to impersonate you, gain access to your other accounts, or even determine what sort of email links you are likely to quickly click on.
Be sure to monitor your accounts and network for suspicious activity. Anything out of the ordinary could be a sign you have been compromised, and the quicker you act, the better your chances of recovering with minimal damage.