Safer Internet Day: 5 Safety Tips


Safer Internet Day 2017 is being celebrated globally today to promote the safe and positive use of technology. The day sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. Highlighting positive uses of technology exploring the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet.

We got in touch with our friends at Fox Information Technology and looked at how you can better protect your home and business from fraudsters, hackers and internet bad guys.

1. Protect your computer

Incidents of ransomware have increased over the years, with 54% of UK businesses surveyed reporting an attack. The term refers to malicious software which takes control of a targets computer and then encrypts all the data on it, rendering it inaccessible. The fraudster then demand a payment in exchange for handing over the encryption keys. The ransom demanded can be huge, with no guarantee they’re going to release the computer and once you’ve paid they could ask for more money.

Protect yourself against ransomware, trojans, worms and viruses by installing a good, paid for, virus software. The guys at Fox can help you plan, install and then monitor security and virus protection, keeping you safe and secure.

2. Update your tech

Keep your phones, tablets, computers, servers, devices and website up to date with any maintenance updates, operating system updates and patches. When vulnerabilities are found tech companies will release an update to keep out any would be hackers. If you don’t install them you could be giving a hacker a backdoor into your PC, phone or server to do whatever they want i.e. steal your customers personal data or put a card skimmer on your online shop and harvest all your customers card details. Whilst having up to date software doesn’t protect you 100% it does go a long way to keeping you safe.

There are various things you can do for auto updating and being notified, but we’d recommend speaking to a professional before enabling automatic updates.

3. Watch out for Phishing

The scammers are getting cleverer and the emails they’re sending look more professional and real, so be cautious in your inbox. Never, ever, click on a link from a scam email! Even if you don’t fill out your details you can alert the scammer to your email being real and then, boom, more spam. Your bank should never send you an email without some form of identification proving who they are and with some form of your account details on.

If you get emails with attachments that look suspicious, even if you know the person it’s from don’t open it. Unless you’re the FA, on transfer deadline day is someone really emailing you a fax? The file could be something nasty pretending to be a PDF.

If you buy your own domain names pay the bit extra for the domain privacy. This will stop your contact details going on a big database that scammers use to send you emails about fake Chinese Trademarks, SEO registrations and a bunch of other stuff trying to sell you something.

Tornado and Fox recommend Office 365 as the built in spam and phishing protection means we get next to zero emails through. We can get you switched over or setup with 365 pretty quick, for super secure, enterprise grade email, just get in touch.

4. Passwords

Is your password “123456”? Well you’re not alone as it was top of the 25 most common passwords in 2016, but you really should be using something a bit more secure, at least 8 characters with a mixture of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. Passwords should be unique, don’t re-use the same one across multiple sites or devices, if a hacker gets it they then have access to all your accounts.

That’s going to give you a lot of passwords to remember and that causes stress when you’re dying to get on Facebook to share your latest selfie, or trying to remember which one you used for the bank. Use a password manager like LastPass, you then only have to remember one password and it does the rest and it has a super secure password generator so you’ll always have a top quality password.

5. Sites without SSL

Never put your debit, credit or personal details into a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate. When you’re on a site that has SSL you’ll see a padlock or green url bar in your browser. If you check your url bar now you’ll see our padlock, or if you’re in Chrome the “Secure” message.  This means we have a trusted, secure SSL certificate and we’re encrypting you’re connection to our server, so no potential hackers can “listen”, track or steal your information whilst you’re viewing our site.

If you operate a website and don’t have SSL you could be missing out, it’s a Google ranking signal, it’s increasingly important and it looks more professional. Have a read of our article on what Google Chrome is doing for sites that don’t have SSL and if you want more information get in touch with us.