According to a new survey of 1,000 UK workers, 26% of British people feel more vulnerable to online hackers than ever because of COVID-19.
The survey found that, despite greater awareness of the risk of cyberbreach, as criminals seek to exploit the pandemic, many are still using online habits that could compromise the safety of their data and online accounts.
While most people, 89%, stated they care about their own data privacy and 88% believe that online security threats are growing, this is not translating into good practice when it comes to passwords and online security. 48% of Brit’s admitted they rarely change their online passwords and 28% said that they do not do this more than once a year.
Other findings showed that a third of respondents only changed their passwords when forced to by online services and only 8% of those then opted to use the strong password generator provided.
One in 10 respondents said they use the same password for all accounts, despite 71% of the people surveyed stating that they believe the need to authenticate online identity is more important now than ever before.
What is the reality?
It has been widely reported that cyber-criminals have been, and continue to, exploit the pandemic, both our fears of the virus and the changes that have come about in how we work and play, changes that will influence the way we do things in the future, long beyond the current lockdown restrictions.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently reported a five-fold increase in cyber-attacks targeting the public at large in the period between February 2020 to April 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
Meanwhile a prominent cloud security firm reported that Phishing attempts alone increased by over 40% during March and that there is no sign that this drastic upward trend is subsiding.
What can you do about it?
Well, the first thing you could do (shameless self-promotion incoming) is take a look at this article we have on cybersecurity for home working. In it you will find great tips and advice on how to stay safe and how to protect both your personal and business data.
Here is a summary of some of the main things to consider…
Make sure that updates for your operating system and commonly used applications are applied regularly
Use a password manager to manage different login credentials for all your accounts and use strong passwords (i.e. not less than 10 characters long and with a mix of upper-case & lower-case letters, numbers and punctuation included)
Use a reputable antivirus and make sure it is updated regularly
Use a secure connection method to access your business network, such as Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Consider additional security and recovery services, such as encryption, a hosted workstation backup service, Office 365 backup and spam-filtering
Find an IT support company and make arrangements for them to be available to help you when you need it. Many will work on an ad-hoc basis or can offer low-cost options for cover. If you find yourself with an IT emergency, you will be happy you arranged this in advance and that your IT service provider can respond quickly!
Some IT support providers (*cough* supreme systems *cough*) can even provide all of the services above for one simple monthly price!
Want more advice?
If you would like advice on securing yourself from cyber-attacks, call the experts – Supreme Systems offer ad-hoc and contract IT support and managed services, to businesses of all sizes, across the Midlands and Leicestershire.
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About Supreme Systems
Supreme Systems is an information technology company established since 2008.
Leading IT Services provider and Cloud solutions for businesses in West Midlands.
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