16:50 19 October 2010
Fears of a major cyber attack in Britain are growing, as it was revealed there are 1,000 attacks from cyber terrorists and foreign states on the UK per month.
One of our country's top spies, GCHQ Director Iain Lobban, told officials that government computer networks are targetted constantly and that these attacks had already caused significant disruption to governmental systems.
Lobban went on to issue a number of warnings, saying:
This is a very worrying statistic and Lobban's warnings do nothing to settle our nerves, but the GCHQ boss continued, revealing that eight out of ten threats to security could be dealt with by observing basic network security disciplines.
So what can we do ton best protect ourselves from cyber-crime on a more personal level? Well we can also follow basic network security disciplines:
1 - Turn on your spam blocker
Most Internet providers provide a spam blocking feature to prevent unwanted messages, such as fraudulent emails and phising emails, from getting to your inbox.
2 - Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date
You need to make sure you regularly update your anti-virus software and that you do a once-a-week scan to find any viruses or infections your computer may have. Programs such as AVG do a great free version if you don't want to shell out on a complete package.
3 - Check your online shopping sites
If you shop online, make sure you are visiting a secure website, like those with a url that starts with "https" and have a little image of a padlock when entering any personal details. If you don't see these anywhere on the site, it could be a fraudulent site and you may be at risk.
4 - Avoid the scams
Ignore being taken in by common scams, such as foreign lottery wins or a nigerian prince asking for your bank details so he can transfer you some money. Think about it! If it sounds too good to be true, the odds are, it is.
5 - Be wary of social networking
Be careful about how much you reveal about yourself on Facebook or Twitter. You could be making it really easy for a criminal to find out whether you're at home or not or even for someone to steal your identity. It may be time to re-think your profile page.
6 - Passwords
Make your password difficult to guess. Common sense tells you not to use the same password for everything; most people have two or three and interchange them depending on how much they trust that site. Try to use numbers and capital letters too where possible- and don't use your name!
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