Female founders almost half of technology businesses in the UK
From those working from home over the past year, to companies and those sporadically using the internet to communicate with family and friends, no one has escaped avid hackers in recent years. They have been busier than ever. In fact, a recent report by Beaming, an independent Internet Service Provider for businesses across the UK, revealed that in the first three months of 2021 firms were hit by over 172,000 attacks. These findings are as scary as they sound. Every day companies are having to survive 1912 attacks – with one intrusion attempt being carried out every 45 seconds in the United Kingdom.
The interest in breaching the online security of people and companies isn’t a new idea. Commercial organizations have suffered an 11% increase in cyber-attacks during the first months of 2021, with higher educational institutions across the UK and Europe also being the target of an increasing number of cyber-attacks in recent months.
As we all need to use digital devices and the internet, be it connecting to clients and family, or simply paying a bill, we need to know the answer to the question: How can we avoid the increasing risk of using technology?
Here, entrepreneurs and security experts share the best internet security tip they’ve ever been given – and the answers can make a big difference for you, and your business, too.
Don’t reuse old passwords
“The best internet security tip someone ever gave me is: do not reuse old passwords! Usually, I try to update all my password info – so my accounts are secure. However, I often catch myself reusing an old password. If one of my accounts gets breached, chances are that a different account of mine with the same old password might get breached too. That’s why I never have the same password for two accounts!
Having this on my mind, I force myself to think of new and stronger passwords that will keep my accounts safer. Regularly updating my passwords and creating new ones is what helps to keep all my data safe and secure.
David Morneau – CEO at SEO marketing agency www.breeeze.co
Don’t only rely on free software
“It seems simple, but the best online security tip I’ve been given was from my father when I was in my teens. It has made a huge difference: do not rely on the built in Windows firewall that comes as standard.
Always download a free version of AVG or Norton – or pay a fairly cheap yearly cost. The amount of viruses, phishing attacks and malware that’ll be picked up by these (and not Windows) is staggering.”
Alan Monaghan – Founder of soundproofing tutorials website www.quietliving.co.uk
Avoid public WiFi for sensitive browsing
“The internet can be a haven for some, but it can also put others at risk if not used cautiously. As a founder, the best internet security tip I received is not using public WiFi when browsing websites that require personal information. You’ll never know; someone might be collecting your data from the public WiFi and use it without your knowledge.”
Chris Muktar – Founder at www.wikiJob.co.uk
Always use two-factor authentication
“As a website founder, the internet can be a viable source of information. That being said, it can also put our information at risk. The best internet security tip I have received is using two-factor authentication. It gives extra protection to the person who owns the account because there is another step to confirm the individual logging in is the authorized person. It prevents the hacker from invading an account. Even if they know the username and password, this alerts the authorized person that there is an attempt to login, and they can act right away to protect their account.
April Maccario – Founder at relationship advice website www.askapril.com
Have more than one email
“Have more than one email. Specifically, to have an email that I can put out there in the open, which, if compromised, won’t be putting me at great risk. This email is, of course, different from the one I use for my bank transactions and the like.”
Ted Liu – Founder at SEO agency www.justseo.co.nz
Never use the same password for everything
“One of the best tips I can give is to not use the same password for every account. Also, be sure to include numbers and various symbols like an exclamation mark or an @ sign. While it may seem easier to remember your password by using a common word or phrase, it makes it much easier for a cyber attacker to figure out your password and steal your information. Passwords should also be updated regularly, and you should use multi-factor authentication whenever possible. Then, even if a hacker does obtain your password, they likely won’t be able to get in without the second factor of authentication, like a pin being sent to your phone.
Cindy Murphy – President of Digital Forensics at cybersecurity firm www.tetradefense.com
Easy to remember, easier to be stolen
“One piece of advice that helped me a lot with internet security is to never use passwords that have some kind of meaning and are easy to remember. Instead, get used to using a password management software and create strong, hard to crack passwords.”
Mikkel Andreassen – Customer Experience Manager at customer service software firm www.dixa.com