Christmas Cheers, hacking fears, don’t end up in tears.

As Christmas approaches, amidst sore heads, panic buying for our partners and Brexit being all over the news, we now have to remember more passwords, to avoid our well earned money being syphoned out of our accounts through the internet.

The list below, whilst not exhaustive, gives you a good start at protecting yourself against a malicious attack.

 

 

  • Approval word or phrase– all staff who make payments within a business should have a secret authorisation word. This will ensure that any email asking for immediate payment will be vetted.
  • Beware of urgency – most scams will try and make you commit to payments, logging in, checking payments immediately. Take a step back, think and then decide if this is legitimate or fake.
  • Simple passwords – use something other than Pa55w0rd, Letme1N, or your pet dogs name.
  • Don’t click on links in email – go to the site and login (look for the https: too)
  • Data collection without you knowing it? For example, have you seen the Facebook quiz that’s asks you for your maiden name, middle name and pets name to reveal you hidden screen name.  Ever thought that someone may be collecting vital information that could compromise your login?

Most people use the same password for several accounts, giving hackers access to everything if your password is exposed.

Check to see if your password has been compromised?

Check to see if email address has been compromised?

The safest way to store all of your passwords is by using a password manager, there are several good services for this including 1Password, LastPass, Dashlane and RoboForm. These services store all login credentials in one highly secure vault for which you only have to remember one password. Ensure whichever password manager you use has multi factor authentication when setting up, as this will help prevent unauthorised access to your account and compromising your valuable data.

If you do nothing else this Christmas.

Ensure you have a data backup plan.  This means a copy of all your valuable data somewhere other than on your network.  Having a hard drive connected to your server is no longer a solution as crypto software will encrypt both the server and the hard drive.

Finally…

We, at Matrix Business IT, hope you have found the above of use and wish you a very Merry Christmas.  We sincerely hope that your waist line is your worry at Christmas and not your online security.

Concerned? contact a member of the Matrix team on 01329 888444 or email [email protected].

Have you got strong enough Cybersecurity in place?

The importance of cybersecurity can never be properly justified.

When it comes to protecting your business and the data that you have stored, it is important that you do everything you can to prevent cybercriminals from attacking. Research shows that more than half of board members recognise that cyber security threats are a top risk to their business but do not receive a sufficient amount of information or training on how to deal with that risk.

Most large businesses already know they are a prominent target for cybercriminals and have put measures in place to protect themselves and customers from attacks. Small businesses however should ensure they have defences in place as well. Although smaller in size, the overall benefit for the cybercriminal could be much larger by targeting a small business, so don’t rule yourself or your company out.

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Fareham, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out on how we can help with your cybersecurity, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444. Alternatively, email us at [email protected] or complete the consultation form on our new website: https://www.mtxit.com.

 

Phishing & Smishing

 

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details often for malicious reasons. This is usually by disguising as a trustworthy entity or organisation in an email. Smishing is very similar. This is the attempt to obtain information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details often for malicious reasons in a text message instead. Both are very common scams right now in the world of technology.

These threats have been around for years, but cybercriminals are changing the way they use these tools to try and scam more and more people. Researchers have shown there are three main reasons as to why these techniques are still being used on victims – it is a low-cost, easy-to-use technique whilst worst of all, the technique still works, no matter what format it’s in.

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Fareham, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out more about Phishing, Smishing and other scams out there, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444. Alternatively, email us at [email protected] or complete the consultation form on our new website: https://www.mtxit.com.

Cybersecurity Checklist for Summer

Summer is just around the corner and to make sure you get the most out of it, we will provide you with the best five tips on how to stay safe in the warm weather in terms of cybersecurity.

 

Fraudulent hotel websites. If you’re planning to go on holiday this summer, try and book it directly through one of the travel companies. Third parties may seem cheaper but this might be for a reason – to scam you. Be careful when using third parties.

Don’t over-publicise it. It’s great to let your friends know where you’re going on holiday, but make sure not to put specific dates on places like Facebook and other social media websites. This leads to the world knowing some important information. How well do you know everyone in your contacts?

Monitor your children. With school finished for summer and your children having more spare time than ever before, be careful to check regularly that they are safe online. This could mean limiting the amount of hours they spend on their devices or what specific types of pages they access.

Public WiFi Networks. It is always handy when there is a hotspot to save your data. However, ensuring you do not access apps or websites containing important information on Public networks is vital. Cybercriminals target these sorts of places.

Most Importantly Enjoy Yourself! Once everything is in place, enjoy your summer. It’s time to relax!

 

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Fareham, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out how we can help your business with our services, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444. Alternatively, email us at [email protected] or complete the consultation form on our new website: https://www.mtxit.com.

Working Remotely and the Risks Involved

Working remotely is easier than ever before. The Cloud is now part of our everyday lives at work and at home. It is becoming a popular solution as bandwidth and internet connections become quicker and more stable proving very beneficial to many business’. However, there are still risks of working remotely that you still need to be wary about:

 

– The Cloud and WiFi. Wireless internet access is available mostly everywhere now so you can connect from anywhere you like. However, using public WiFi is a danger due to many networks being unsecured, making it a prime target for potential hackers. Be careful what information you type in and what apps you access when on public WiFi hotspots.

– Losing your devices. If a device is lost or stolen, the chances are your work will be lost unless it is saved to the right places. Also, if your device gets in the wrong hands, important information can be exploited. Make sure you have a back-up of your work just in case the worst-case scenario happens.

– Employee Efficiency. If one of your workers is constantly working remotely, how can you be sure that they’re getting all their work done? Having a workforce that constantly works remotely does not always bring benefits or success. Be sure to check their progress and when they last accessed certain documents to make sure you are getting the most out of your team.

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Fareham, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out more on how working remotely will affect your specific business, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444. Alternatively, email us at [email protected] or complete the consultation form on our new website: https://www.mtxit.com.

Future Threats of Cybersecurity

There are always new and evolving threats of cybersecurity in the IT world. Recently, the National Cyber Security Centre and the National Crime Agency released their annual reports, which outlines the main causes and problems of cybersecurity and how this will evolve in the future. Here are the main threats.

Data Breaching – The most obvious target for criminals. Companies who have poor security and don’t store their data in a safe place are prone to be a victim of cybercrime. Especially with the addition of the new GDPR law, data breaching will continue to happen until you secure yourself and your company.

Cloud Security – More and more businesses are storing their invaluable data using the cloud as it is an increasingly popular method of data storage. However, the report shows only 40% of data in the cloud is access secured, meaning over half of the data on the cloud can be accessed easily by cyber criminals.

Worms –  A worm is a computer programme that replicates itself in order to spread malware faster to other computers. Cyber criminals in the WannaCry attack of 2017 chose to use worms as their chosen method to exploit victims and it will not come as a surprise if this method is used again.

Cryptojacking – This is the use of your computer to mine cryptocurrency without being aware. This is likely to increase in the future due to the rise in the value and popularity of bitcoin.

For more information on cybersecurity, please contact us via email at [email protected] or phone at 01329 888444.