Win #1 Secure your portable device and information

You can reduce the risk of being targeted by cybercriminals by securing your device and protect your information.

How can I secure my portable device?

  • Lock your portable device with passphrase, password, PIN or biometrics. For optimal security use a passphrase rather than easier to guess options such as: your date of birth or pattern locks which are easy to deduce.  To unlock your device, you may consider fingerprint or even facial recognition.
  • Regularly back up your files. Backup your information, it is a precautionary measure just encase your device is ever stolen, lost or damaged. It means that if anything unfortunate happens you can recover your information quickly and easily. Backups include your valuable information such as photos and documents that you have saved to the cloud or external storage device. Most importantly, a backup should be kept in at least two other devices.
  • Encrypt your portable device if your information isn’t encrypted cybercriminals can still access the hard drive. Even if you have a unique strong password.
  • Set your portable device to automatically lock after a short time (5 minutes) of inactivity.
  • Whether you find a random cord or USB device, or others try to plug in their cables or devices into your portable device – don’t do it or let them do it. It could be infected with malware.
  • Treat your portable device like your wallet. Always keep it safe or with you.
  • before selling or disposing of your device ensure you thoroughly remove sensitive and personal information from your portable devices.

To stop your files from getting into the wrong hands use an encryption method on your laptop that includes pre-boot authentication, it will ask for an additional password before you log on. That way if a cybercriminal can bypass your devices security, your files will be encrypted.

Win #2 Use secure software

One of the best ways to protect yourself from being target is to ensure you’re using secure software. Software can be malicious by design or have gaps or vulnerabilities in security. In other words, unsecure software means that cybercriminals maybe able to compromise your portable device and information.

How do I ensure my software is secure?

  • Most importantly as soon as they become available, install new updates. Better still turn on automatic updates for your device and its software. Doing updates help to correct security vulnerabilities areas that cybercriminals can use to access your portable device or information. You should regularly check for and install updates manually if the automatic update setting is unavailable.
  • Before you download and install on your portable device, check that software is made by a reputable company.
  • Every time you need to download software do so through an official app store or the company’s official website. If you obtain software via pirating, you could risk your devices security. In other words, you may end up getting malware or may not receive security updates.
  • Avoid software that asks for excessive or suspicious permissions.
  • Set up parental controls on your device to require approval before software is installed.

If your hardware is old, it may longer be supported by the manufacturer and provide security updates. The same applies to software as well. In other words, upgrade your device and/or software when required to maintain your security.

Win #3 Wireless security

You’re on the move internet connection is the way your device can communicate to the outside world. So, it is important that your wireless connection is as secure as possible because remember, it is a channel to your device. An unsecure connection means that criminals may try to access your personal or financial information for mischievous and criminal purposes.

How can I protect myself when using Wi-Fi networks?

Be careful not to use public Wi-Fi hotspots like cafes, airports, hotels and libraries, even if they are more convenient. They definitely pose a risk. For example, information sent using a public WiFi can be intercepted.  So, if you do use it, think about the information you’re sending and receiving. It maybe confidential and not for prying eyes. As an alternative, use cellular data if you’re away from the office or home.

If you’ve no choice but to use public WiFi follow the below steps

  • While connected to public Wi-Fi networks avoid sending or receiving sensitive and personal information 
  • Switch to your cellular data connection or wait until you’re on a secure home or office Wi-Fi network when you do online banking, shopping, sending emails, entering passphrases/passwords or credit card details into websites.
  • Always try to confirm the ‘official’ hotspot name from venue staff and manually connect your device to it.
  • Do not let your device automatically connect to public Wi-Fi networks by disabling the option in your device’s Wi-Fi settings.
  • Remember to disconnect from the Wi-Fi network and clear it from your portable device after you have finished using it.

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