In today’s digital world, keeping your data secure is more important than ever – so this week DNS Member, Network Test Labs, joined us in covering an introduction to Cyber security with some of our members.

What was the first point we learned? Staying safe online can be a full-time job, but you can take some simple steps to protect yourself and your company. Technology is everywhere – it operates our home appliances, locks, and vehicles – not to mention that over 76% of Canadians own a smartphone and according to CIRA, 90% of Canadians use the Internet. Here’s another interesting fact, did you know that 68% of adults sleep with their phone near their bed? Technology is always with us, and it’s more important than ever to understand how to keep your data safe.

Cyber security impacts every single person. Theft is becoming increasingly digital and the profits from online attacks are actually beginning to dwarf conventional bank fraud, physical theft and corporate fraud! Accessibility of identity, accounts and credentials make everyone an ideal target for cyber threats, and any compromises of your data can affect your customers, coworkers, friends and family.

The workshop was 5-hours of eye-opening statistics and knowledge, but we gathered 10 easy steps that you can take to improve your cyber security.

    1. Don’t be tricked into giving away confidential information – that includes credit card information, passwords, client data… you know the drill.
    2. Don’t ever use an unprotected computer – such as those handy computers in the hotel lobby! By all means, search for what you need on Google, but avoid putting in any personal information such as your logins!
    3. Don’t leave sensitive information lying around the office – whether that’s hard copies of information or a USB with those financials on them – keep your data locked up and secure.
    4. Lock your computer and mobile phone when not in use – we all know about this one, but how many of us have secure passwords on these devices? Our computers and mobile phones hold so much of our data, it’s important to protect them. Don’t forget to protect sensitive files too!
    5. Stay alert and report suspicious activity, emails and links – if you get an email from your CEO that looks a little suspicious? Pick up the phone and check with the person who “sent” it, better to be safe than sorry!
    6. Always use hard-to-guess passwords – we’re talking long, random passwords that aren’t used for everything you own. Looking for password tips – check out this link.
    7. Don’t plug in personal devices without the OK from IT team – Malicious code or malware could be installed, data could be stolen or access could be granted remotely.
    8. Don’t install unauthorized programs on your work computer – as you can see, this one doesn’t need a lot of explanation, when it comes to work – stick with approved programs on all work devices.
    9. Do not send confidential information or customer data over unencrypted channels – encrypting information is a vital step to keeping your data secure, ever wondered what it looks like?

      (Thanks differencebetween.net for the great image!)
    10. Use programs to help manage your cyber security – Free tools are available for you everywhere, but if you’re not sure where to start, NTL has a few recommendations
        1. Sophos Home – free home antivirus protection
        2. No More Ransom – if your data is held hostage
        3. Ciscos Talos – Threat Intelligence

       

If you weren’t able to join us this week for our Reduce the Risk: Cyber Security 101 workshop with NTL, fear not – we have some exciting programs in the works, stayed tuned!

Can’t wait that long? Join us for STEMFest and see them hack a car!
(DNS discount code “DNS” for a reduced ticket).