As technology becomes more prominent in our personal lives, so does securing it. It is important to keep your devices as secure as possible to avoid viruses, theft and fraud. Diligence and proactivity will be essential in your bid to stay one step ahead of cyber threats.

How to Protect You and Your Family: 

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to the standard single password method of online identification. You are prompted to enter one additional authentication method such as a text message code, another password, or even fingerprints. As passwords aren’t infallible, this will improve your level of personal security. Many popular sites now offer and recommend two-factor authentication including Google, Apple, and Facebook.

Be Wary of Hazardous Hotspot’s

When out and about, make sure you are aware of unsecure public Wi-Fi.  Hackers often target busy public areas through free Wi-Fi networks. It is dangerous to use these networks without Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnels. By using a VPN, the traffic between the server and your device is encrypted. This means it’s far more difficult for a cybercriminal to obtain access to your data.

Avoid Dangerous Downloads

Use your common sense when it comes to downloading games or file sharing tools.  To avoid dangerous downloads, ensure you understand what an app is doing before it installs, and be wary of apps established by unknown developers. We recommend installing suitable Antivirus Software to prevent, detect and remove malware.

Phone Scammers

New Zealanders continue to be caught up in calls from scammers claiming to be from Microsoft, and more recently Spark. To counteract this, always be cautious when you receive calls from unknown or blocked phone numbers. These companies will never contact you out of the blue asking for your password or credit card details. If you are unsure if the call is genuine, the best thing to do is hang up, you can always call the company back to clarify!

Engage in Safe Online Shopping
You should always avoid entering your credit card details through email or into an unsecure URL. If it is secure, you will see the URL HTTPS://, with “S” standing for secure. Some browsers may use a shield or lock symbol in the address bar to indicate its security. If the page doesn’t appear secure, then do not enter in your details. This is especially important when considering which sites are safe to store your passwords and banking card details.

Avoid Leaving Logins Unattended

Regardless of the length of time you are leaving your device unattended for, remember to log out of all authenticated browser and VPN sessions, and password lock the screen. This will limit an intruder’s ability to gain easy access to your systems, keeping your information secure in your absence.

Here at IT Partners, we encourage our team to adopt these techniques to help ensure that they have a secure cyber presence in both their personal and professional lives. We hope that you find these tips helpful, here’s to a safe and secure year!