SEPAR's Top 10 Cyber Security Tips

Risk cannot be 100% avoided but it can be reduced and managed.

1. Software

  • Think before you download software and only download from original sources.
  • Update your software especially your operating system and antivirus.
  • Check your mobile app permissions.

2. Passwords

  • Test password Strength – https://howsecureismypassword.net/
  • Create a PassPhrase (not a password) e.g. instead of Donkeys as a password, consider \D0nk3ys#@r3#N0t#Mul3$/
  • More than 8 characters. It should include Numbers, Upper & Lower Cases, Number and Symbols.
  • Avoid using one password in several accounts
  • If possible, use a Password Manager
  • Always secure laptop and phones with a password, pattern or biometric

3. Wireless Connections

  • If you do not need to use it, disconnect it. Bluetooth in particularly is easy to hack.
  • Rename portable devices if they have an easily identifiable name e.g. device model, personal name, company name.
  • Avoid Public WiFi. But if there is a high need to use it, Verify WiFi names and passwords, install a firewall, antivirus, VPN.

4. Profile management

  • Avoid oversharing online especially on social media and social networking services.
  • Check your privacy setting on your online services.

5. Backup

Create regular backups of your data. Online (cloud) and offline (external drive) options can be utilised.

 

6. Communications

  • Avoid sharing sensitive information on insecure lines of communications e.g. HTTP websites and ordinary mobile calls and texts
  • Use secure communication apps to share sensitive information e.g. Signal, WhatsApp, Jitsi

7. Internet Access

  • Avoid registering on HTTP websites that require registration
  • Be on the look out for suspicious emails which may be phishing for information
  • Avoid clicking suspicious links. If suspicious, copy (do not click) link and verify on URL verifiers on available tools such as https://safeweb.norton.com or https://scanurl.net
  • Apps to help reduce threats include HTTPS Everywhere, Privacy Badger and AdBlock Plus

8. Encryption

  • Encrypt your communications using secure applications such as VPNs e.g. Psiphon Pro or Communication apps e.g. Signal, WhatsApp, Wire, Jitsi
  • Encrypt computer (BitLocker and FileVault) and mobile phones.

9. Situational Awareness

  • Be aware of your surroundings as you utilise your digital devices.
  • When making a call, be aware of those around you.
  • When using your computer (and bank cards), be aware of those around you, CCTV cameras and window reflections.

10. Digital Hygiene

  • Empty trash bin in digital applications and computer.
  • Delete history, cookies, caches and temporary files.
  • Ensure Antivirus is always running (firewall is a great bonus).