You may have seen recent reports in the press that computer viruses or “malware” have already infected over 15,000 computers in the UK and many more worldwide. Computer viruses and cybercrime are becoming a major threat for businesses of all sizes.
Just by taking simple measures you can protect your business from cybercrime. This basic guide will help you safeguard your business against potentially time consuming and costly threats in the long run.
Unfortunately viruses are part and parcel of using IT, with email being the most common method of infecting unsuspecting users.
The points below highlight how to identify suspicious emails and what to do about them. If an email exhibits any of the following it may be regarded as suspicious.
- It’s from a company or individual that you’ve never had contact with previously.
- It asks you to click a link.
- It asks you open an attachment.
- It has been sent via a public email service and not a business email address.
e.g. @hotmail.com, @yahoo.com, @gmail.com vs. @summ.it
- It asks you to verify any personal details or account details.
- It does not refer to you by your name.
- It uses poor grammar or spelling.
- It is poorly formatted or uses low quality images.
- It appears to be from an existing contact but the style of language or formatting of the email differs from previous emails.
Should you have any doubt at all that an email is not legitimate DO NOT click on any links or open any attachments.
If you believe an email is suspicious, contact summ.it, your existing IT support provider or the company or individual who claims to have sent you the email, so that the email can be verified – it is always better to err on the side of caution.
When dealing with anything related to the internet, a healthy dose of scepticism goes a long way.
A vital tool against online threats is anti-virus software. It recognises and protects your computer against most known malware. Therefore it is important to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date to ensure protection against the latest threats. Basic free software is available online , but purchasing a product will offer a far greater level of protection which will be worth the cost.
Data is a fundamental part of any business, therefore you need to ensure that you date is either backed up daily or stored securely on a cloud system. It is a legal obligation to protect this information under the 1998 Data Protection Act.
Whatever the size of the company, it is advisable that at least one IT professional is supporting the security and general upkeep and maintenance of all company computers.
It is advisable to keep your operating system (OS) and application software up-to-date to make sure any new software you want to install will be compatible. As well as ensuring that they are updated to the current supported versions.
Make sure you install software updates when prompted so that hackers can’t take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities.