top 10 cyber tips

1. Update Your Computer Operating Systems And Software

Cybercriminals take advantage of vulnerabilities in out of date software to compromise computer systems. Why make it easier for them?

Regularly updating your operating system is a fundamental cybersecurity measure.

Operating system updates, often containing critical security patches, safeguard your device against vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals.

By staying current with these updates, you ensure that your system is equipped with the latest defenses, enhancing overall cybersecurity resilience.

This includes any device that has internet connectivity such as mobile phones, smart TVs, modems/routers and laptop computers.

2. Buy And Use Premium Security Software

You get what you pay for. Free antivirus apps have their place, but you shouldn’t bet the farm on them.

Cybersecurity software has come a long way. It is no longer just a simple junk filter or an antivirus program.

Nowadays the better security software offerings are a suite or package of different apps that perform specific tasks to identify and address cyber threats.

Antivirus, anti-fishing, VPN, safe-surfing, private data encryption, dark web monitoring and other initiatives all help to keep you and yours safer.

Buy, install and keep up-to-date the best-rated package for your platforms.

Pay-once, cry-once! Far better than relying on a cheap product that doesn’t get the job done. Choose a product that will work on ALL of your devices.

Many packages permit up to 10 devices to be protected on the one subscription.

3. Use A Firewall

The first line of defense is a firewall. Most modern computer operating systems have one. Make sure yours is turned on.

A firewall is a network security device (usually software) that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules.

Firewalls have been a first line of defense in network security for decades.

4. Use A Password Manager

The easy, effective and SAFE way to create and store strong passwords.

A password manager is a special software program that can create and store all your passwords securely, so you don’t have to worry about remembering them.

This allows you to use unique, strong passwords for all your important accounts (rather than using the same password for all of them, which you should never do).

5. Enabling Multifactor Authentication (Mfa)

Your bank requires your bank card and a pin number to access your money, so why treat your email or sensitive documents any otherway? Setup MFA on any account that allows you to do so.

Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is a security practice that adds an extra layer of protection beyond just a password.

It typically involves a combination of something you know (like a password) and something you have (like a mobile device, a security token, or a biometric like fingerprint or face-recognition).

This dual verification significantly enhances cybersecurity by reducing the risk of unauthorised access, even if passwords are compromised.

Like having a door with two locks and two separate keys, adding an additional step significantly strengthens your security posture.

6. Use A Passphrase

Try using a passphrase which is made up of two or more random words with a combination of upper and lower characters, numbers and symbols instead of a traditional password.

Passphrases are longer, more complex alternatives to traditional passwords, typically composed of multiple words or a combination of words, numbers, and symbols.

Their strength lies in their complexity and length, making them significantly more resilient to brute force attacks.

Utilising passphrases enhances cybersecurity by providing a robust defense against unauthorised access, as they are harder for attackers to guess or crack.

Encouraging the use of unique and memorable passphrases adds an extra layer of protection to sensitive accounts and information.

If you use a password manager to create strong randomised passwords, then the password manager will remember these for you, so you don’t have to.

All you then need to remember is a strong MASTER PASSPHRASE to unlock the password manager, connected with MFA for additional security.

7. Phishing Awareness

Be cautious of unexpected emails, especially those requesting sensitive information or asking you to act on instructions given. Verify the sender’s identity before clicking links or opening attachments.

Being cautious of unexpected emails, especially those urging immediate action or requesting sensitive data, is crucial.

Verify thelegitimacy of the sender, check for unusual email addresses, and refrain from clicking on links or downloading attachments from unfamiliar sources.

Educating yourself and your team on these practices enhances cybersecurity by minimising the risk of falling victim to phishing attacks, ultimately safeguarding sensitive information and maintaining a secure digital environment.

Encouraging family to promptly report suspicious cyber activity orsecurity incidents is paramount for effective cybersecurity. Approximately 88 percent of all data breaches are caused by user error.

It is therefore important for family to be aware of the signs of compromise and more importantly be willing to report suspicious activity as soon as possible.

8. Link Hovering

Hover your mouse over any links to see the true destination of a purported link.

Link hovering refers to the practice of pausing the cursor over a hyperlink without clicking to preview the destination URL.

This simple yet effective technique is beneficial for cybersecurity as it allows users to verify the legitimacy of a link before interacting with it.

Link-spoofing is very common and very easy to achieve. This is why we say NOT to blindly trust links in emails, because they might not be genuione links.

By hovering over a link, individuals can reveal the actual destination and identify potential phishing attempts or malicious URLs, helping to prevent unwittingly navigating to harmful websites and falling victim to cyber threats.

9. App Permissions

Undertake a review of app permissions on your mobile device to ensure that installed applications only have access to necessary information.

Reviewing app permissions on your mobile device is crucial for preserving security as it ensures that each installed app has only the necessary access required for its intended functionality.

Unchecked permissions may lead to unauthorised access to datastored on a mobile device.

This can lead to user privacy compromise and exposing sensitive information.

Regularly assessing and adjusting app permissions minimises the risk of malicious activities and enhances user control over what data can be accessed and shared, contributing to an overall more secure digital environment.

10. Use A Vpn

VPN means Virtual Private Network. A VPN connection establishes a secure connection between you and the internet. Do it.

Via the VPN, all your data traffic is routed through an encrypted virtual tunnel.

This disguises your IP address when you use the internet, making your location invisible to everyone. A VPN connection is secure against external attacks.

Public (free) WIFI at the café or the airport is tempting, especially when you’re in a hurry, and you really need to fire-off that quick email.

However those internet connections are very unsafe, as they are easy for hackers to ‘snoop’ your data stream.

But don’t bother to look around suspiciously at your fellow treavellers/customers.

Most public WIFI is attacked using auto-bots that are setup to work remotely.

In just a few seconds of your online activity, the bot has captured a huge amount of data about you, your device and your account credentials. They can then easily upload to your device a trojan.

Protecting your digital assets has become critically important.

As part of this process, it’s a very good idea to look at putting all your affairs in order and explore your estate planning options, by contacting a specialist lawyer who is experienced in estate planning in South Australia.

Founded in 1848, Genders & Partners is the oldest law firm in South Australia. They choose to specialise in just a few areas of law closest to most families, so that they can provide the legal services that matter most to you and your family.

Their experienced estate planning team can discuss many estate planning tools and techniques including:

  • helping you to identify, understand and manage risks in your legal and financial affairs;
  • protect your digital assets;
  • creation of protective trusts;
  • titling of assets for joint ownership;
  • consideration of insurance options.

Choosing the right estate planning lawyers can make a huge difference in ensuring proper distribution of your assets after death, minimising or avoiding any legal issues that may arise, and protecting your hard-earned assets.

Most importantly, it helps save your family all the trouble, as well as thousands of dollars in legal fees and taxes, after your death.

Download our free eBook: “7 things you must know before you make your Will” here.

Genders and Partners is the oldest law firm in South Australia, established 1848. Contact them to learn how to protect yourself, your family and your assets through modern integrated estate planning solutions, by visiting our website today and schedule a free no obligation telephone consultation to find out how they can help you and yours.

To learn how to protect yourself, your family and your assets, by creating a professionally-made estate plan, claim your FREE 15 minute Telephone Consultation .

PS Genders and Partners are giving away for FREE their Digital Assets Protection Pack with the purchase of any Platinum Estate Planner package.

Find out how to Protect Your Digital Assets here.

eBook Protecting Your Digital Assets

ebook protecting digital assets 3d cover

What will happen to your online accounts, profiles, data, subscriptions and memberships, if you die or become incapacitated?

With data breaches, elder abuse and digitalisation all on the increase, read these important insights from senior Australian specialist lawyer Rod Genders to help protect yourself, your family and your assets.

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