Often it is a simple mistake that invites in hackers and leads to data being compromised. However, they can also be prevented by equally simple precautions. ITConnexion offers Cyber Security Awareness Training, fully funded for eligible, Australian SMEs and NFPs. Learn more about the steps you can take today to protect your work computer or phone from being compromised, and register your interest in the programme.
Using Public Wi-Fi
Public wifi offers convenience, but at the cost of risking safety. Public wifi is usually not a secure network, and this lack of authentication can open up vulnerabilities for hackers to access unsecured devices on the network.
The cyber security threat of public wifi is that hackers can position themselves as the intermediary, so the end user is connected to the hacker on the network, rather than directly connecting to the network hotspot. In extreme cases, what seems to be public wifi will be a fake network, designed to lure the unsuspecting. Once connected to a hacker, they have access to all the information relayed on the network, including email content, security credentials and credit card information.
To keep safe, keep wifi off when not using a secured office or home network. If you have to use public wifi, use a VPN, turn off sharing in the device system preferences or Control Panel, and ideally avoid using sensitive or financial information.
Having Bluetooth On
Bluetooth is not as secure as a secured wifi network, and can be hacked. Hackers can intercept the data transferred via a bluetooth connection, as well as send you malware files or viruses.
Bluetooth-enabled devices usually have some in-built safety features, such as the option to only exchange data with “trusted devices”. This gives you specific control for each new device that asks to connect to yours or transfer data, and it’s a simple matter to deny access if any request seems suspicious. You can also switch your Bluetooth settings to non-discoverable to stay under the radar of any hackers.
Reused passwords, or simply passwords that are easy to figure out, means that one data breach can put all log-ins at risk. Data breaches are far more common than many people realise. If you have an account with one provider, and they experience a data breach, it is possible that your password and other data is available for hackers.
To make sure that your work devices and accounts are safe, use unique passwords so that they cannot be compromised by a data breach. Choose a strong password, change it regularly and use two-factor authentication.
Leaving devices unattended, especially when travelling, leaves them open to attempts at malware installation. This is one of the simplest cyber security risks to protect from, as it only needs a habit of never leaving a device unattended. It’s especially important to keep an eye out at hotspots for corporate espionage, such as airports where business people are often travelling through while mentally distracted.
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