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Practical tips to protect your personal data online

Practical tips to protect your personal data online

Cutting through the jargon to protect your work and personal assets

BY Business Chicks, 8 min READ
 

Thanks to our friends at Kaspersky

We’ll always remember 2020 as the year we stayed home.

Our dining room tables became our desks, trackies became our attire of choice, and the lines between our work and personal lives blurred.

While direct customer facing businesses are slowly resuming business as usual, there are millions of jobs that have successfully proven that they can be done remotely at home. A new Kaspersky survey* has revealed that 95% of people are still working from home following the COVID-19 outbreak. 40% of workers say they have not yet seen any changes in productivity since the COVID-19 outbreak began, and more than a quarter feel that they are even more productive.

Unfortunately, this new way of working has increased the opportunity for cyber-attacks that steal valuable information and impact businesses of all sizes. Margrith Appleby, General Manager of Kaspersky ANZ says, “in 2020 our entire lives have played out online, from working, to socialising to transacting. The unfortunate reality is that where people go, cyber criminals follow.”

Cyberthreats aren’t just a problem for big corporations and governments; small businesses and individuals can be targets, too. The Australian Cyber Security Centre reported that in 2019, Australians lost $634 million to scams, and cybersecurity costs the national economy $29 billion every year (a figure on the rise year after year).

But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming and scary. It’s all about understanding the jargon and having the right systems in place to protect your valuable information. So, we called upon our friends at Kaspersky to cut through the jargon and share practical advice on creating an environment of cyber awareness for your work and family.

Let’s cut through the jargon!

We hear these words thrown around but what do they actually mean?

Cyber security

The practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks and data from malicious attacks. It’s also known as information technology security or electronic information security. At the end of the day, it’s about protecting data and the places where it’s stored.

Malware

Malicious software that is purposefully designed to cause harm to your device and personal data. If your laptop, desktop or mobile gets infected with malware, it might slow down or stop working entirely. It can also delete or steal data, putting your privacy in jeopardy. Common types of malware include computer viruses, worms, spyware, bugs, trojan horses and ransomware.

Ransomware

Malicious software that infects your computer and displays messages demanding a fee to be paid in order for your system to be paid; it’s a criminal moneymaking scheme. It can be installed through deceptive links in an email message and has the ability to lock a computer screen or encrypt important files. It can be served in the form of pop ups and alerts, email messages or impersonation of law enforcement agencies. A report by the NSW government found that in the last 12 months, businesses paid the ransom in 50% of ransomware attacks. Recently, business travel management company CWT paid $4.5 million to hackers. Most cybersecurity organisations, including Kaspersky, recommend that you do not pay the ransom. Hacking is a pretty great business model, so the more people that discourage it the better.

Encryption

Think of it as the key to the door. It’s the basic building block of data security and the simplest and most important way to ensure a computer system’s information can’t be stolen and read by someone who wants to use it for corrupt means.

End point

Any device that is physically an end point on a network. It’s a device that communicates back and forth with the network, think laptops, desktops, mobile phones and tablets.

APT

The acronym for Advanced Persistent Attack. It’s used continuously as a sophisticated hacking technique to gain access to a system and remain inside for a prolonged period of time. APT is the threat actor, while malware is one of a variety of tools the actor uses to gain access to your system. What is typically discovered as the threat, is not typically what the attackers are looking for. Nation states and large corporations are the major targets, however SMBs cannot ignore this type of attack

 

Protecting your team from cyber threats

73% of workers surveyed said that they have not had any additional IT security awareness training after they switched to working from home full-time. Our current way of working isn’t changing for the foreseeable future, so we need to change the way we think about cybersecurity when working remotely.

Tips to stay alert and protected regardless of your business size:

  • Create a cyber aware culture where passwords are kept secure and personal confidential data is not stored on corporate devices
  • Install security software on all devices – laptops, desktops, mobiles and tablets – especially if staff are using their personal devices when working remotely
  • Ensure everyone has the right IT hardware
  • Implement a VPN to keep colleagues connected
  • Password protect all computers and other devices
  • Back up your data regularly
  • Protect your perimeter

Training doesn’t have to be put in the too-hard basket. Check out Kaspersky’s Automated Security Awareness Training that covers essential practices including account and password management, email security, endpoint security and web browsing.

 

Protecting your family from cyber threats

Our kids are spending more time online than ever before, and in Kaspersky’s survey*, 33% of people found that it’s much more difficult to regulate how much time their children are spending on the internet.

So how do you keep your family safe when we rely on technology to deliver education, our social lives, and entertainment?

  • Install the latest antivirus software
  • Set up parental controls and internet filters
  • Cover webcams when not in use
  • Ensure your child’s privacy settings are set to maximum
  • Protect online purchases and payment from fraud
  • Don’t forget about senior members of the family, they can get trapped by online scammers masquerading as the ATO or Australia Post.

 

Kaspersky’s mission is to save the world. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and they help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.au

*How COVID-19 changed the way people work is a 2020 global report from Kaspersky.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

©2020 Business Chicks

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