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Secure your I.T. systems over Christmas

Posted by Deb Cashion on 14 December 2022
Secure your I.T. systems over Christmas

Before you go on vacation you generally check that the power points are turned off, someone is going to collect the mail and that all the doors are securely locked. But what about your I.T. security? Cyber criminals do not take holidays - in fact cyber-attacks and hacks increase during the holiday and sale season.

This blog is a reminder of a to-do list of actions to ensure you have done, I.T. wise, before going on vacation.

Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) – Loyal I.T. Solutions has discussed this before and are reminding you to activate your MFA to protect all your logins.

Update your software – Software and patch updates can protect your computer and network from cyber-attacks. So, make sure that all updates are downloaded and installed.

Backup Backup Backup! – Backing up your data ensures that you have a duplicate in case of a cyber-attack, natural disaster or human interference. Having backups in place will ensure if something horrible happens, you can restore data from the last backed up point in time. Learn more here in our recent blog.

Set up a firewall – A firewall is an application that protects devices from malware. If it is not automatically installed on your device, get advice from your I.T. company to set up one.

Be cyber aware online – In December 2021 we published hints on how to be cyber aware online during the holiday season and all these hints and tips still apply. Being educated and alert can save you financially. Be suspicious of emails and texts with links that request you to provide personal details or for authorisation codes.

Password lock all your devices – If travelling, or even when your machine is idle, a secure and hard to break password is essential. The Australian Cyber Security Centre recommends using a password phrase which is at least 14 characters long, uses a random mix of four or more words, is not a popular phrase and is not reused over multiple accounts.

Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth auto connect - Most public WiFi connections are unsecured, and some can be set up for malicious purposes to gain access or download malware to your device. Never log into a network you are not sure is secure.

Secure your mobile- Many people forget that their mobile is, in essence, a minicomputer and as such it is vulnerable to the same hacks and attacks as any computer is. Make sure you update your device, use virus protection and enable safety features like passcodes, PIN and anti-theft tracking on your smartphone.

Avoid public charging stations - You do not want to connect your device to any charging station which you do not control completely. You can’t even safely charge your phone on a computer in the hotel’s business center or one at the local library. Those can be just as dangerous as you have no idea what software is running on those computers, and if one has malware on it, it can engage with your mobile device via the USB cable used to make the connection.

Monitor financial accounts regularly - If you, like me, have been online shopping to avoid the crowds, a fraudulent transaction can slip by if you are not carefully monitoring your bank and credit card statements. Check your account statements regularly and if you notice any suspicious activity, contact your bank authorities immediately. Ensure that you log out of your accounts and close browsers every time.

If you need any information or advice on protecting your network over the holidays, call us on (02) 4337 0700 or email kgiff@loyalit.com.au.

Remember being cyber prepared is being cyber smart. Happy holidays!

Author:Deb Cashion
About: Deb is the Administrator at Loyal I.T. Solutions. Her background in marketing and editing ensures she gets the most out of a blog. With past posts for the Tasmanian Prison Service, Shoalhaven City Council and The What Women Want political party, she brings some knowledge and skill to the table when blogging.
Tags:SecurityNetworking SecurityCyber Security

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