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Cyber ‘guru’ friend to the rescue?

31 October 2017

With more and more cases of ransomware and other malicious cyber activity occurring globally, more and more people need help dealing with cyber issues in their home.

We know that many people will turn to their cyber ‘guru’ friend at the first sign of trouble, rather than seek professional help.

Many of us have that friend who knows lots about computers and knows the difference between a VPN and a proxy, but what if we told you that YOU can take control of YOUR cyber security?

Cyber security doesn’t have to be a complicated subject and securing your computer and devices can be quite straightforward.

First things first: install anti-virus software on all your devices. Your computer may already have some, but your devices will not unless you have specifically downloaded an app to provide this service. There are some great free options, just choose one from a reputable, well-known provider and set it to automatically update. 

Next: ensure you always update your software when prompted. It can be inconvenient to update when you are in the middle of something, but make sure you install the update as soon as you’re finished (or select the install overnight option). The longer you delay the longer your device is vulnerable to threats like ransomware.

Then: back up your devices regularly. A popular option is to update to a cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. These can be very handy, practical and don’t require you to buy an external hard drive. If you choose to backup via a cloud, make sure you secure your account with a strong password and two-factor authentication if available.

Always: use unique strong passwords and two-factor authentication to secure your accounts (especially if they contain personal information and banking details).

Never: click on links you receive in emails from unknown senders. A safe trick is always navigate to the website yourself (regardless of the sender).

Importantly: make sure you report any cybercrime—hacking, scams, fraud and identity theft—to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN). You may not be aware of the full extent of the damage and what information may have been stolen from you. NEVER ignore an incident.

If you have experienced a cyber security incident, we have some great advice to get you back on your feet that deals with your specific issue. Check out our recovery guides here.

You can also sign up to our free alert service to stay up-to-date on current cyber risks. Subscribe here.