Hacking describes what happens to any data on the internet that becomes intercepted by someone that has no authority of the data. Unbeknown to me, who years ago only knew Hacking to mean riding my pony around the country roads! Unfortunately, every organisation or person is a potential victim to hackers.

We all have something of value that is worth something to others. If you openly demonstrate weaknesses in your approach to cyber security by failing to do the basics, you will experience some form of cyber attack.

Fortunately, there are effective and affordable ways to reduce your exposure to the more common types of cyber attack.

Hopefully this blog demystifies some of the mistakes made with cyber security. Even someone who is not ‘techie’ can hopefully make use of these tips.

Make sure you switch on password protection

This counts for every single device you own, mobile, laptop, mac pc etc. Set a screenlock password, pin or authentication method.

Most modern devices now come with a built in encryption or password security however you may need to switch it on.

Do not use the same password for everything!

I know that’s easier said than done. Especially when almost everything we use nowadays requires a password. But in the wrong hands your data ‘could be’ an issue in the wrong hands.

Passwords should be easy to remember, but hard for somebody else to guess. A good rule is ‘make sure that somebody who knows you well, couldn’t guess your password in 20 attempts’.

‘I don’t have anything to hide or of value’ – I hear people say this A LOT!!

But if you have emails, or facebook ‘auto logged in’ on your pc or phone and those devices got into the wrong hands that information is pretty valuable to many. As you can imagine… therefore a password and a secure on is quite useful and a really easy fix.

Use Two Factor Authentication for ‘important’ accounts

If you’re given the option to use two-factor authentication, do it; it adds a large amount of security for not much extra effort. When was the last time you checked your Social media account security? This is really common!

‘Facebook accounts only get hacked if the password is weak’  – So change your password, enable 2 factor authentication and monitor your account. Do not have ‘auto log in’ saved on public pc’s.

Change all default passwords

One of the most common mistakes is not changing the manufacturers’ default passwords. A lot of smartphones, laptops, and other types of equipment are issued with these. Change all of them before devices are distributed. You should also regularly check devices (and software) specifically to detect unchanged default passwords.

Update your Website

As you know WordPress used across the world. The only issue is that a lot of users are not updating their plugins or core system. Due to this, it’s creating large security holes in websites and some web hosting environments.

This is leading websites being taken over by ‘hackers’. Hard work and time is lost as a result. Which is why we always recommend taking a backup of your site on a minimum of a weekly basis.

Install ‘WordFence’, this alerts you when people are trying to log in to any of your  sites… Update all plug ins that are in use, deactivate or remove any not in use, and take a back up! 

Update your PC, Laptop or mobile device

A common operating system update is a security update, which is issued to protect you against vulnerabilities that might be exploited by hackers and viruses. It is wise to install security updates when they are released to ensure your system is as protected as possible against constantly changing threats.

Back it up

Having peace of mind that all your data is safe is important.  Whether it is personal data such as photographs, health records, and all your home financials, or files relating to your own business, it’s important to protect yourself from any loss by backing up your files. 

It’s entirely your choice how you back up your files, either on an external hard drive or up in the cloud. We recommend you always back up everything that is of value to you.

Turn off your computer

Leaving your computer on and connected to the internet leaves the door open for unwanted guests to visit and cause unnecessary chaos. A little like leaving your house unlocked when you pop out; you wouldn’t do it, as you’re just not sure who might come calling.

 If you’re not using your computer, it’s always best to log off and switch off.

Avoid public Wi-Fi

Don’t go on public wi-fi unless you absolutely have to. And NEVER enter your password to any accounts or platforms whilst on a public Wi-Fi. I have unfortunately witnessed this first hand when on honeymoon in Kentucky!

Above all else, be naturally cautious. The experts at Black Nova always say the best anti-virus software is you. If in doubt don’t click to proceed or download anything if you are unsure of its origin. In addition, if you think your lovely machine may have been infected with a cyber virus, here at Black Nova Designs we can get our experts to remove it, and help you prevent it happening again. 

If you need any help installing the latest security software or operating system updates to keep your PC safe, you can get in touch with Black Nova Designs.

The Internet can be a hostile environment. The threat of attack is ever present. Doing nothing is no longer an option. Protect yourself to ensure that you are not among the growing list of victims.