Cyber Security – 3 quick tips and some useful links to stay one step ahead of hackers

You can never be too careful

1. Passwords:
Use strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone. Ideally use a random combination of numbers, letters and punctuation over eight characters long.
In addition to the classic concept of a password, consider the use of a passphrase which will make it easier to remember – security is enhanced if you don’t need to write your password down. Think of a passphrase that is made up of at least four words, including at least 12 characters, for example ‘horsecupstarshoe’. The key thing to remember when creating a password is the longer it is, the stronger it is.  Learn more about using strong passwords.

2. Software updates:
Ensure your operating system and application software updates are set to apply automatically on your device.

3. Emails:
• Be wary of messages and don’t open them if: i) you don’t know the sender; ii) they aren’t addressed directly to you; iii) they don’t use your correct name;
or iv) you’re not expecting them.
• Think carefully before clicking on links or opening attachments.
• If a message seems suspicious, contact the person or business separately to check if they are likely to have sent the message. Use contact details you find through a legitimate source and not those contained in the suspicious message. Ask them to describe what the attachment or link is.
• If possible, turn on two-step or two-factor authentication for your accounts.

Useful Links:

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has developed prioritised mitigation strategies to help technical cyber security professionals in all organisations mitigate cyber security incidents. This guidance addresses targeted cyber intrusions, ransomware and external adversaries with destructive intent, malicious insiders, ‘business email compromise’ and industrial control systems. They consider that implementation of the Top 4 and Essential 8 mitigation strategies as a package will prevent at least 85% of targeted cyber intrusion incidents. Further information can be found here.

The following link also contains useful tips on how to protect yourself online:
https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/, including a free alert service providing up-to-date information on the latest online threats and how to respond.