10 simple cyber security tips to know now to protect your business and staff

Cyber security attacks are a real threat for Queensland businesses and breaches could mean your reputation, confidence, data and secure information and budget are on the line.  

Cyber attacks cost Australian businesses close to $30 billion annually but taking some simple, free and proactive steps now can help you secure your business. 

Here’s some tips for you and to stay alert and safe online.  

 

1. Think before you click 

Instinctively clicking a link in before looking closer can instigate a cyber-attack. Watch out for common indicators of a phishing attempt, like a suspicious sender’s addresses, generic greetings and signature, spoofed hyperlinks and website, poor spelling and layout and suspicious attachments.  

Learn more about avoiding social engineering and phishing attacks  

 

2. Create a strong password 

We know passwords are hard to remember but by using your birthday, address or even common phrases, you’re opening yourself and your business to a data breach. Lengthy and complex passwords with upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters is the ideal strong password.  

Learn how to build a strong password and protect it 

 

3. Use multi-factor authentication  

Passwords are a good first layer of protection, but attackers can guess or intercept passwords. By using multi-factor authentication (MFA) – this includes using multiple pieces of information to verify your identity, you can make it harder for attacks to access your account.  

 

4. Don’t catch the bait to a phishing scam  

Phishing is a way criminals try steal sensitive information, such as credit card details, online banking and business passwords. It’s easy to get fooled as phishing emails are designed to appear like they come from a real bank, e-commerce site or even government agency.  

Watch out for common indicators of an email phishing attempt  

  • Suspicious sender’s address 

  • Generic greetings and signature 

  • Spoofed hyperlinks and websites 

  • Poor spelling and layout 

  • Suspicious attachments 

 

5. Watch out for social engineering 

Attacks are rapidly becoming increasingly deceptive, with social engineering attacks using social skills to obtain information about a business. Attacks often seem unassuming and respectable, possibly claiming to be a new employee.  

Learn more about how to identify a social engineering attack. 

 

6. Keep up with your updates 

Software companies often update their software to fix security bugs, so it’s essential to always update your software to protect your business from security vulnerabilities that attacks could target.  

 

7. Protect your privacy 

Before you enter your details onto a website, make sure you’re providing your personal information to a trustworthy site that will keep your information safe. Do they have a privacy policy stopping them from sharing your data? Is your information being encrypted to stop attackers?  

Discover our tips to protect your privacy. 

Steps to making sure your privacy is protected  

  • Check there’s a privacy policy in place protecting your data 

  • Ensure there’s evidence your information is being encrypted 

  • Ask yourself, is this a credible company? Do I trust this company with my personal data?  

  • Don’t use your primary email address in online submissions  

  • Avoid submitting your credit card information online  

  • Devote one credit card for online purchases  

  • Take advantage of options to limit private information 

 

8. Delete sensitive data, for good 

Did you know often when you delete a file, it may be transferred to a ‘holding area’ like your trash or recycle bin? While this can be handy, if it’s sensitive information- an attacker may still be able to retrieve it.  

Discover how to delete sensitive data.

 

9. Update your browser settings 

Your web browser is your primary connection to the internet, and multiple applications may rely on your browser to function. This means security settings, like plug-ins, cookies and pop-ups, are extremely important in order to protect your business against cyber-attacks.  

Learn how to safely update your browser settings. 

 

10. Stay educated and alert 

The digital landscape and cyber security threats are constantly changing. It’s crucial to stay educated and alert to protect your business against cyber attacks 

Dive into the free resources on Cyber Health to stay educated and protect your business