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A secure mindset is the only mindset to have online.

Over the last few months I have learnt that cyber security is not only about locking a computer screen or changing a password, it’s about so much more.

It is about being mindful and understanding the power that the hyper connected world has on our daily lives, how we are affected by it and how we can make sure we are staying cyber safe at all times.

Practicing a more secure approach whenever you go online, is the only way you can curb breaches and help yourself become less of a target. This way of thinking may not be a priority and that could be the reason you are vulnerable to breaches or still getting breached.

If you wouldn’t give that information to a stranger, it shouldn’t be put on a public forum.

Any of your personal information such as email addresses, cell phone numbers and the name of your work place must be set to private. The safest would be to not have this type of data on social media at all. Cyber criminals can use this personal information to facilitate a larger scale attack.

Larger scale attacks take place by using the personal information cyber criminals obtain online, they use this to further their phishing scams or impersonation attacks. The more information they get, the more damage they can do. Educate your friends, family and colleagues to have this type of information private or not online all together.  Sophisticated hackers look for connections and will use this to their advantage to make their mails look real and have authentic information that they have retrieved from these platforms.

Scams or clicking on links is not that only way a breach can happen. In your work environment, you have more power than you know, you are the keeper of confidential information and it’s your responsibility to practice cyber safety and to not cause a breach through human error.

 Accidents happen, and we are only human, but what happens if a small error costs your company thousands and possibly your job?

Once an email is sent, it is sent. Sending private client information or documentation to the wrong recipient is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Always make sure that who you are wanting to send the documents to, is in fact the person you have typed into the Send To.. bar , especially if you have people with the same name that you deal with, taking an extra minute to double check will save you hours of damage control.

Online safety is something you constantly have to think about, you are on a device for the majority of the day, be it work or at home, you are always connected. This is why you need to be mindful and realize that every move you make online can impact your life in a positive or a negative way, be it allowing a hacker to gain access to your device or get your personal information to making human errors in the office, always be aware and think before you click.

 You need to think of your information, digital or tangible as breachable. It all needs to be dealt with a secure approach in mind.

Let’s get real

Olivia-Hannah Coetzee