With all the media attention surrounding new hacker groups, we’ve been getting a little worried.
So, we spoke to David Emm, principal security researcher of the global research and analysis team at Kapersky Lab, to find out how we can stay safe.
He says: “We all have a responsibility to defend ourselves from cyber-attack. First, this means protecting our computers by installing Internet security protection. Second, it means developing an ‘online common sense’ to minimise our exposure to attack. The following tips are a good place to start.
1. Protect all your computers using Internet security software. Make sure it includes proactive defence against new threats, rather than just basic anti-virus protection.
2. Apply security patches to your operating system and applications as soon as they are released – don’t put it off!
3. Don’t click on links or attachments in unsolicited messages – it’s always better to type a URL directly into your browser, to avoid the risk of being taken to a phishing site.
4. Use a unique, complex password. This means one that mixes letters, numbers and special characters; that is at least eight characters – ideally 15; and one that doesn’t use personal information (such as a spouse’s name) or words that can be found in a dictionary. It is very important not to use the same password for multiple accounts. If a company suffers a data breach and your login and password is compromised, the attackers can use the same credentials to compromise the other online accounts you have. If you find it hard to remember lots of complex password, consider installing a password manager that will remember them all for you – you just need to remember a single master password. Alternatively, you could write your passwords down. But don’t keep them where someone else can find them, or in the same place as your laptop, tablet or smartphone – if they’re lost or stolen together, someone else has everything they need to steal your online identities!
5. Keep an eye on your accounts for any suspicious activity and contact the provider immediately if you see anything you can’t account for.”