The Risks of Using a Public Wifi Hotspot

If you are accessing an insecure WiFi in a public place, you may be allowing unauthorised people to intercept what you are doing online. Your passwords, emails and personal information could be at risk.

Image result for public wifi hotspotsThis can happen if the WiFi connection is not encrypted or if someone has set up a fake hotspot which persuades you to believe it is the legitimate one.

You can tell that you are on a secure connection if the WiFi asks you to add in a ‘key’. Even by logging onto a internet access page within a hotel or cafe does not guarantee that the connection is encrypted.

Unless you are using a secure WiFi you should not send or receive private information when using public WiFi. Where possible, try to use commercial hotspots such as BT OpenZone or T-Mobile.


How to Create a Strong Password

With security breaches on the rise, it is crucial that you protect yourself from hackers by creating a strong password.

Image result for strong passwordThe below recommendations are key to creating a good and memorable password:

1) Try to make the password a minimum of 12 characters. Ideally, the password should be even longer than this but try to keep 12 characters as your absolute minimum.
2) By including a different combination of numbers, symbols, capital letters and lower case letters it will make your password harder to crack.
3) Try to not use dictionary words or a combination of dictionary words. For example, ‘house’ is a terrible password  or ‘red house’ is also bad.
4) Make sure that your password is not an obvious choice for you. For example, don’t use a family members name or your date of birth as this is easily guessable.


How to Recognise Phishing

Phishing can come in the form of email messages, websites or phone calls – they can email you, call you or convince you to download something from a website. All of these methods are designed to steal money.

Image result for phishing

Cyber criminals will often install malicious software onto your computer or steal personal information from you, so it is crucial to know what to look out for:

  • Spelling and bad grammar. Professional companies will often have staff or copy writers who would not allow a mass email to be sent with spelling errors.
  • Beware of links in emails. If you see a link in a suspicious email message, ensure that you hover over the link first (without clicking) and check to see if the hover text matches that of the link.
  • Threats. Cyber criminals will often use threats that your security has been compromised in order for you to action the email / phone call.
  • Spoof websites. Be aware of any fraudulent websites – website addresses that resemble names of well known companies but are slightly altered.

For further information, please feel free to get in touch with our of our cyber security experts: 020 8249 7000


General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

In May 2018, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation will apply.

Image result for gdprThe GDPR will be introduced to protect the personal data of residents within the EU, meaning that all organisations will need to have certain systems and processes in place.

If companies face legal action over mistreating personal data, they can face fines of up to 20 million Euros or 4% of global turnover.

Brexit will not exempt companies who operate in the UK only, either – it is likely that the GDPR will apply before we even leave the EU.


SMEs – Cyber Security

It’s hard to keep up with the cyber criminals and threats, so organisations must do more to protect themselves.

Image result for cyber securityUp to 74% of SMEs suffered a cyber security breach in 2015. The attacks on businesses include; phishing, malware viruses and ransomware. These attacks are on the rise, and could stop businesses from accessing their own data or leave them vulnerable to valuable data being stolen.

It’s important to remember that up to 10% of security breaches are caused internally therefore, it is crucial that all staff should be made aware of the potential threats.

To speak with one of our experts about cyber security, please contact us on: 020 8249 7000