Install Anti-Virus software
This may sound obvious, but it’s the number one step in preventing viruses/malware from reaching your data, find one that suits your needs and purchase it. For people on a tighter budget, there is cheap anti-virus software available however if you’re protecting your business data it’s worth investing in the top software. If you need help finding the right anti-virus software for your company, contact us here.
Maintain your Anti-Virus software
If you’ve installed anti-virus software, it will need frequent updates to ensure it can protect against the latest known viruses. New viruses and malware are developed continuously and therefore it’s essential your anti-virus stays up to date. Most anti-virus software will update in the background without asking you, but it’s worth checking anyway.
Scan your computer regularly
Take regular scans to ensure your files are clean from any threats. Most packages allow you to do a quick scan instead of a full scan if you’re in a rush, however we recommend that you do a full scan once a while to be safe. It’s worth noting that when you do a scan, it can effect your PC’s performance so therefore you should try time it around your working schedule. Scanning times can vary depending on the amount of files you have.
Check e-mails before you click
When opening an e-mail, be extra sure that what you’re clicking on is safe. Most viruses can’t access your computer unless you give them the gateway to do so. Most potential harmful e-mails will try redirect you to a dodgy website or get you to click a file. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between a legitimate and a fake e-mail. If you’re unsure about whether an e-mail is fake, here’s a few things you can do to check.
- Do you recognise the e-mail address? If you don’t know who is sending you the e-mail, it’s best practice not to click on any links in the e-mail.
- Does it sound too good to be true? Then the chances is, it is. Don’t be tricked into clicking a link that can supposedly give you free money!
- Are they trying to use your emotions? Cyber criminals will use fear, sympathy and greed against you. If you’ve received an e-mail saying you owe a fine or that they’re in trouble and need help, it’s likely to be a scam.
- Are you expecting the attachment? Most of us are brain numbed to seeing generic business documents come in such as invoices and purchase orders. Don’t let repetitiveness be an entry point for malware. Make sure you know the sender before opening the attachment.
Browse carefully on unknown websites
Fortunately, with the combination of anti-virus software and Google’s advanced search algorithms, we land on safe websites more often than not. But this doesn’t mean you can’t accidentally land on a potentially dangerous website. Here’s our tips when checking if a site is safe.
- HTTPS – if you need to type personal or private information into the website, always check that it has https:// before the URL and a lock icon. In short, this verifies that any data entered is safe and secure.
- Listen to your Anti-Virus Software – If your Anti-Virus software displays a caution about a certain website, you should be extra sure that you know the website before proceeding.
- Research the company and the website before entering – if you think a website seems suspicious, the chances are someone else has too. Check to see if someone has commented on the security of the site.
- Are you clicking the correct buttons? Some websites can be safe but have unsafe ad banners. If you’re on a site to download a specific attachment, it’s quite common to see another banner with just a picture of a download button, this is nothing to do with the actual website, but it will try get you to click it instead of the button you’re after.
Don’t use open Wi-Fi
If the Wi-Fi you’re accessing is an open unencrypted connection, then it means hackers can access any unsecured devices on the same network. Many of us use open Wi-Fi in our daily lives, such as coffee shops, on the train or at the airport. While working on this connection, hackers can access any information you’re transmitting over the internet, whether it’s confidential e-mails, credit card details or customer data.
There are many other risks of using open Wi-Fi as well as ways of securely using open connection, come find out more at our Discovery day.
Back up your files
This should be mandatory for every business by now, the best way of damage limitation in the case of a cyber-attack is backing up all your files frequently. Depending on the size of your business and the amount of data you store, you should try back up your important data daily.
Back-ups can be done manually or automatically, we recommend setting up an automatic back-up to save time and eliminate the risk of human error. If you haven’t already got a back up process in place, Excalibur can help.
Excalibur can help
Need help keeping your business safe? As well as comprehensive malware, Ransomware and virus protection, back-ups and monitoring, Excalibur can undertake repair project work should your systems become compromised at any point. We also offer a testing service to see how susceptible your business is to phishing emails.
To find out more about our security services or for more tips and advice on cyber security, sign up for our free Discovery Day.
This article is simply advice on how to stay safe when online. Everything in this article is to mitigate the risk of a cyber attack and can not guarantee complete safety. A majority of hacks and data breaches is caused by user error, should you seek resources in training your staff members explore our Proactive network security testing section.