During these uncertain times, now more than ever we are relying on the wonders of the internet. We've created a freely available one page guide to help you enhance your personal security.

The internet is fantastic during the Covid-19 pandemic for so many reasons. We are connecting with friends and family, ordering food and other essentials, watching films and TV and playing on games to keep ourselves entertained, and more importantly support our mental wellbeing.

Your digital wellbeing is also important, it's helpful to consider the amount you use technology and to ensure that it enhances your life. Your online and personal security is central in supporting your digital wellbeing. If done correctly, it will enable to you feel empowered and confident whilst connecting, purchasing and sharing online.

We've created a one page guide to enhance your personal security, you can freely download it here to share with your friends and family.

For full guidance, keep scrolling!

Passwords

A good password is easy for you to remember but very hard for other people to guess or for a computer to crack.

Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

Having a strong and unique password is important, but sometimes companies and websites don’t store passwords as securely as they should. Adding a second layer of security to your accounts is really important. And now is the perfect time to go through all of your accounts and enable 2FA. 2FA helps to protect you in case your password is compromised.

When you set 2FA up, every time you access your accounts from a device that you don't regularly use, the website will prompt you to put in not just your username and password, but also a numerical code that is often sent to your mobile by SMS text message or to an authentication app. Most accounts now have 2FA as an option, it is always worth enabling! You can read our full 2FA guide here.

Gaming

Online games offer fun and adventure and can help develop logic, problem-solving and coding skills. With many of us spending more time at home, lots of people are gaming more than ever!

However, no matter how old you are, there are associated dangers. The exposure to offensive language, bullying, and connecting to people who aren’t who they say they are can all cause serious problems. There are also issues around players purchasing additional features which can run up large bills.

Some tips:

  • Read each game's advice for parents and find out how to report abusive chat and anti-social players on the gaming site
  • If children are using your tablet or smartphone, change the settings to ‘airplane’ mode, this will prevent them from making accidental purchases or connecting with someone they do not know
  • Both children and adults should not share personal information that could identify them or their location
  • Children should keep friends who they meet online via a game in the game and not add them to their social networks

Wi-Fi Security

Your home Wi-Fi routers come pre-set with a default username and password. When installing and connecting your router at home you’ll initially need these. However these details are often easy to guess and sometimes even published on the internet.

Some helpful advice:

  • You have both a router password and a Wi-Fi password. Your Wi-Fi password is what you use on your devices to connect to your router; your router password is what the router uses to connect to the internet
  • You should change the default password on both your router and your Wi-Fi
  • To find out how to do this, search online or call your Internet Service Provider

Social Media

Social media is booming, timelines are filled with rainbow paintings, people’s latest culinary treats and DIY makeovers. However, it is important to remember that your social media profiles are an easy way for cyber criminals to gather information about you.

Some advice that is always worth following:

  • Remember that people are not always who they appear to be online
  • Only accept friend request from people who you know
  • Regularly check your social media security and privacy settings, you want to ensure they are as locked down as you would like
  • Be wary of messages and posts that encourage you to click links, download attachments or transfer money – especially if they make you feel emotional, as we explain here
  • Avoid things such as ‘personality quizzes’, which often ask for lots of personal information!

Video Calling – Zoom

Many of us have embraced video communication services, such as Zoom, like never before, enabling businesses to continue to function, families and friends to connect and even weekly pub quizzes to continue to go ahead!

As the usage of Zoom continues to increase, the company has experienced scrutiny over security issues. ‘Zoombombing’ has been the main talking point, with many people finding their Zoom meetings being hijacked by unwelcome intruders.

Our top tips for using Zoom are:

  • Generate a unique ID, use a password and avoid sharing personal meetings
  • Lock the meeting once all your friends and family are present
  • Be careful about sharing photos of zoom calls on social media, these can inadvertently give away your meeting ID

Click here to read our full Zoom Security Advice Guide

Stay Safe and well, from all of us at Cygenta 💜