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'Cyber Security' by

20th September 2017

Read the latest blog contribution by on cybersecurity

For most people, their relationship with cyber security is like that found when attempting to shovel snow while it’s still snowing. Just as you feel you’ve managed to clear a path, a deluge of fresh snow comes tumbling down to fill the space. For those attempting to protect themselves online, this means that just as soon as we feel on top of the latest hack, scam or virus, its quickly replaced by a new, more complex and perhaps even more sinister iteration. However, much like the speed with which snow falls in a storm, there is little we can do to slow down the increasing wave of online security threats.

The recent WannaCry attacks and their effect on organisations worldwide, coupled with the fact that as many as 46% of businesses, in the UK alone, suffered some form of cyber-attack during 2016, demonstrate just how prevalent the risk is. On a more personal level, research from showed that one in ten of us have been the victim of a cyber-attack on our credit or debit card in the last year, equating to more than £2.1 billion of fraud. So as more and more of our everyday lives move online, from fridges, televisions, cars and banking, and with the average Briton spending more than 25 hours a week on the internet, we all need to become better at protecting ourselves in cyber space.

So, what can we do to help avoid the online pitfalls? There’s now a whole host of resources at our disposal from top tips on how to protect your identity on social media, to random password generators that provide you with a strong authentication for your logins and more belt and braces software to shield you from attacks. More widely, the Government has also ratcheted up its approach to cyber security by establishing the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which forms part of the intelligence agency GCHQ. The Government also pledged to make the UK one of “the safest places to be online” in its pre-election Manifesto. The launch of the Cyber Schools Programme, which will provide up to 6,000 young people with training in cyber security, is a good first step by the Government to implementing this plan. The Data Protection Bill, which was published earlier this month, will also help to provide the rights and protections we need around the use of our personal data.

However, there is still more that can and should be done. Many people are unfortunately still stuck in the “it won’t happen to me” mindset, an explanation perhaps for why over half of us have the same password for the majority, if not all, of the online services we use. So regardless of whether you’re a prolific online shopper, social media hawk, small online business or large multinational corporation, it’s time to ensure you have adequate protections in place to guard against the perils of the online world.

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