Top tips to ward off cybercrime
- Passwords: Ensure that passwords are strong and not easily guessed. Hackers will start out with password or password1 and will spend time working out your date of birth, mother’s maiden name etc. As they work their way through the list, as they get nearer to the correct password it will take longer for an error message to get back to them, so they can work out your password very quickly. Combine letters, numbers, special characters and CHANGE them on a regular basis.
- Emails: Do NOT open emails that are, in any way, suspicious. Phishing emails (mails which you believe are from reputable companies in order to persuade people to reveal personal information) are regularly sent from banks asking for your login details. While these emails, at first glance, appear to be from your bank if you look at the email address they have come from, it is most certainly not from your bank. If necessary ring your branch and ask if they have sent a mail. But be aware that no bank or financial institution will send an email looking for your personal details. Other types of emails that are received over and over again are the ‘We would like to tell you about your tax refund that you are owed, please give us your details’ or the ‘You have inherited €XXXbn, please give me your bank details so I can lodge the money directly’ type of mails. Although these may sound ridiculous to a lot of people, there are some people who are drawn in by these and gladly give their details.
- Secure your network: More and more, our homes are wi-fi zones and an increasing number of devices that we use on a day-to-day basis are wi-fi enabled – coffee machines, washing machines, dryers, thermostats, home security systems and even garage door openers. It is important that these home set-ups are secured as these systems can be hacked into and they are not the usual methods and hacking vehicles that people would think of.
- Staff training:
- Ensure social networking profiles are set to private
- Be careful using public Wi-fi spots: do not use these for private banking or purchasing
Magnet are hosting the National Cybercrime Awareness Day on October 24 in the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin 2. You can register your interest here.