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A safer internet is possible – it just takes work – and Safer Internet Day helps to make that happen by reminding internet users how to stay safe online.

Each year, Safer Internet Day (February 8) aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns, tackling topics such as cyberbullying, healthy social networking, and the concept of digital identity. The event is organised by the eSafety Commissioner – the country’s independent regulator for online safety in Australia.

In an official post, the commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, asked Australians to promote positive online behaviours in 2022. The commissioner encouraged people to consider how simple actions can bring about significant change and share video messages on social media under the hashtag #PlayitFairOnline to help promote online safety messages at work and school.

The commissioner also announced the commencement of added legal protections against online harassment and abuse.

Grant stated:  “The new Online Safety Act 2021 strengthens and expands our existing laws, including the introduction of an Adult Cyber Abuse scheme – the first of its kind in the world.”

The new laws allow eSafety to compel the takedown of illegal or seriously harmful content.

While these new laws go a long way to helping make people feel safe online, it still pays to be aware of the impact your behaviours can have on your cybersecurity stance – both at home and in the office.

The unfortunate fact is that a small percentage of internet users go online to steal valuable information, including information stored on our portable devices. Cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to target people online. Staying up to date with the latest cybersecurity advice and sharing this knowledge with our coworkers and children can help create a safer online experience.

Feel safe when working from home

work remotelyAs we spend more time working from home, we rely increasingly on technology to keep us connected with workplace commitments. For many workplaces, this may involve asking employees to use their personal devices for workplace activities. This decision places both individual and organisational information at risk.

Change from a password to a passphrase – There’s a lot of debate over best practices relating to password usage. Some professionals maintain that regularly replacing or updating passwords helps keep your accounts safe. In contrast, others posit that regular changes encourage weak or predictable passwords while using one secure password offers superior protection. Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself on, the experts agree that a passphrase provides the advantages of being personal, memorable, and highly secure.

Turn on MFA – multi-factor authentication (MFA) extends the value of passphrases by requiring an additional check before allowing a user access to potentially sensitive information. If a generic eight-character password blocks 90% of malicious activity, an MFA solution takes that protection to 99.9999% and beyond.

This check can take the form of something you :

  • Own (like a security key)
  • Are (biometrics)
  • Have (smartphone)
  • Know (secret question)

Update your smartphones, desktops, and laptops – Device manufacturers are constantly on the lookout for potential security issues that malicious actors can use to compromise sensitive information. Once they become aware of these flaws, vendors often develop updates that patch over security vulnerabilities. This outcome makes keeping your devices up to date an important consideration. It’s not just about getting the latest features – it’s about protecting your details from unwanted interference.

Securely back up your devices – It’s a bad feeling to lose professional data, but it’s even worse when a malicious party compromises that data. This consequence is why it’s best to ensure that business-critical data is regularly backed up and stored securely in a third location. You can keep a backup on a private server or a cloud backup and disaster recovery service. Regardless of the solution chosen, what matters is that your data remains both accessible and uncompromised should something happen.

Learn to recognise (and report) scams – Scams target people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Some scams are complex and require detailed information from you to be convincing. Others may appear simple but can still cost your organisation a surprising amount of money.

While technology has come a long way, the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain remains the human element. Social engineering and email scams remain prevalent. Learning to recognise and report these attempts helps to combat their effectiveness.

Want to know what you can do? Get a review

managed security service providerCybersecurity has been a hot topic over the last few years. It seems like every company is at risk of attack – and frankly, most are. The idea of ‘security through obscurity’ is no longer viable, meaning that you can’t just assume you are protected because you have antivirus software installed. Instead, your organisation needs to get compliant with the Essential Eight.

The Essential Eight is a list of eight cybersecurity strategies designed to mitigate the incidence and impact of cyberattacks on an organisation. These eight measures include prescriptive activities that can help disrupt cybercriminal movements, ranked across four maturity levels. These activities offer a great place to start when you’re thinking about how to protect your business.

Get a cybersecurity review today to learn more about how to keep your business safe from cyberthreats.

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