The Netbiz Guide to Staying Safe Online

According to We Are Social and Hootsuite, more than 4 billion people around the world now use the Internet. Whilst it has undoubtedly transformed the world that we live in by connecting communities and providing users with a wealth of information at the click of a button, it can often feel like a dangerous place – especially with the recent rise in ransomware, malware, phishing scams and hacks. These threats can be extremely troublesome for individuals but for businesses, the risks are even greater – especially with the approaching General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Data Breaches Are On The Rise – Don’t Become a Statistic

In recent years, the number of reported data breaches per year has continued to increase. According to UK Fast, 2016 saw 82,000 breaches recorded whilst 2017 saw a massive increase to 160,000 breaches over the course of the year – these totals don’t include the unreported data breaches either…  That’s a worrying statistic to read, especially for businesses that handle sensitive customer data.

We don’t want this article to be all doom and gloom however so to help you to protect your business online, we’ve had a nip around the office to put together some basic steps that businesses and users can take to protect themselves online!

1. Be Password Savvy!

It may sound simple but often problems initially arise due to weak passwords. Whilst it’s important to ensure that you remember your passwords, it’s even more important to ensure that your passwords are strong and unique. Here’s some simple tips for keeping your passwords foolproof:

  • Avoid basic terms or phrases that directly relate to you – you may love your pet to bits or you may find your birth year easy to remember but it’s probably best to keep that information saved for chats with friends…
  • Use different passwords for home and work and make use of numbers and upper and lowercase letters – if your passwords are the same across the board you open yourself up to a number of vulnerabilities.
  • Make use of passphrases – the more bizarre and complicated the better!
  • Change your passwords regularly.

2. Don’t Click On Suspicious Links or Attachments

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a suspicious looking email from an unknown sender but sometimes it can be tricky knowing if the email is legit. If you have any doubts simply don’t open the email. If you do open an email from an unknown sender DO NOT click on attachments or links within the copy. The same goes for any click bait articles and pop ups whilst browsing the web. Once you click on these links, malware, ransomware or other viruses maybe installed on your device and could infect related accounts.

  • If you do download an attachment from an email, scan the file with an up to date antivirus before opening it to ensure that it is safe.
  • It’s also important to check if the sender of the email matches up to avoid sharing sensitive information with malicious sources.

3. Stop putting off that (up)date… 

Okay it’s not as exciting as a date but it’s definitely on the priority list! We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to keep software updated so you have the latest security patches. The same goes for performing regular security scans – if you have trouble remembering to do these things, you can always set your device to install automatic updates.

4. Back Up Your Files

Whilst this wont protect you from falling foul to insidious cyber attacks, regularly backing up data will allow you to maintain some degree of control over your data – even in the event of a system failure. According to our friends over at UK Fast, 5,000 files go missing each day – by backing up data, you can ensure that you don’t lose years worth of work in one hit.

Speak to our Hosting Experts Today for More Advice

As the number of cyber attacks continue to rise each year, investing time and effort into protecting your business and indeed, your customers has never been so important. For more information and advice about how you can improve your security, contact our expert team today. At Netbiz Group we provide hosting and support for over 500 websites daily. With proactive back-up and after-care solutions, we always follow the latest news and developments to ensure that we can provide you with expert support.