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Cyber Security For All

October marks Cyber Security Awareness Month, nationally and internationally. The need to shine a light on the importance of cyber security has never been more important. Instances of phishing are on the increase, digital scams catching out more and more people and attempted account hacking is on the rise.

Initiated by the Cyber Security & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) the theme of this year’s Awareness Month is ‘See Yourself In Cyber’. It aims to draw attention to the fact that cyber security is a concern for every individual who engages in digital activity. Whether file storage, gaming, account access, or digital communications, any activity online counts. Almost all of us will use email accounts, most of us will bank online and many of us spend more of our day online than in any other activity. It’s fair to say that few of us can consider ourselves exempt from caring about our cyber security.

Online security is not only a concern of organisations and governments. While large organisations and financial institutions are the most targeted by cyber breaches, individuals are increasingly impacted as their personal cyber connection grows. In fact, phishing remains the top threat in almost all cyber threat statistics and is driven more and more by mobile use. With efforts becoming remarkably sophisticated, fraudsters can easily mimic texts and mails from valid organisations or contact from friends. Educating the general population on our own individual online hygiene and how to protect our cyber presence is vital.

Our recent campaign with NI Cyber Security focuses on tips and advice on how to stay safe online. It outlines the three Ps as a way to take small steps which can each have a significant positive impact.

Passwords

Use strong passwords. Stay away from reused passwords. If possible include three random words or a two factor authentication to create the most protected password possible. If you find you struggle to remember your various password combinations look into using a trusted password manager software to stay organised and safe.

Patch

Keep your devices and software up to date. Whenever possible and always when prompted, update devices to new software, new protection, and new security measures. Make sure you do this across all devices.

Prepare

Remember to back up your most valuable data. In the event of hacking, it’s important to have your important data stored elsewhere.

As we move into a season of heightened online activity with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas shopping raising awareness and taking action to put into place simple, effective cyber protection is more important than ever.

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