With ransomware and phishing big news at the moment, here’s our top tips to keep you, your business, your clients and their data safe.
- Make sure your computer, devices and software are up to date.
The recent WannaCry ransomware attacked computers which hadn’t installed the latest security patches on their Microsoft Windows operating systems. Make sure you are covered by searching for “Windows Update” on your computer, running it and applying any updates. We also recommend turning on “automatic updates” to make sure you are covered at all times.
- Use a good antivirus software
Use an antivirus software to make sure your computer is free of all known malware. There are many good antivirus programmes available such as Norton or Bitdefender. Choose a reputable one, and scan your computer with it regularly.
- Regularly back up your files.
Any photos, documents or anything important should also be kept separate from your computer, such as on a USB stick, or in a cloud storage provider such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Many of these offer space for free, and give peace of mind that should anything happen, you still have access to your files.
- Don’t open emails or files you don’t trust.
If you don’t know the origin, or if it seems suspicious, don’t open the email or open any attachments or links within the email. Please note that HMRC will never ask for personal or payment information by text or by email.
We have heard of an email phishing scam currently doing the rounds purporting to be from HMRC, so please be aware. If you receive an email with “Your 2016 Tax Report” in the subject and an attachment, please delete it immediately. If in any doubt about an email, delete it.
- Make sure that everyone using your computer/devices/network is also aware of the dangers.
For more information about ransomware and how to protect yourself and your business online, please visit the Government’s National Cyber Security Centre website.
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