By Cambridge Partners Adviser, James Howard
Criminals are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to carry out phone scams and online malicious cyber activity. Knowledge and awareness of threats is proven to be the best defence against cybercrime.
At Cambridge Partners, we take our cyber security very seriously and, to keep our business and client information safe, we work closely with our cyber security and IT providers, Inde Technology and Mobius Network Solutions.
Together with Scott, a Security Architect at Inde Technology, we have put together some key tips for our clients and connections, to help manage this growing cyber threat, within their bubbles.
• Be aware of news or advice that does not come from official sources, particularly if it has been sent to you unexpectedly. How professional does it sound – for example are there spelling and grammatical errors?
• Don’t give out personal or financial information – always check the source is legitimate.
• If you’re unsure whether an email, call, text or any other communication is from a legitimate source, don’t click on the email link or open the attachment. Contact the organisation via their official contact channels.
• Set your social media privacy settings, so only family and friends can see your posts.
• Set up two-factor authentication (2FA) – choose to get a code sent to another device when logging in online. This stops hackers getting into your accounts.
• Protect your passwords and login credentials, do not enter these into any websites relating to the COVID-19 virus. Also make sure you update your passwords regularly and create unique passwords for each account.
• Keep your devices and apps up to date. When you are alerted to an update don’t ignore it — install it as soon as possible. Updates aren’t just about adding new features, they often fix vulnerabilities that hackers have found to access your system. If your device can’t receive updates anymore, we recommend upgrading to a newer model if possible.
• Back up your data. Ensure all your important information is backed up and stored in a secure location.
Zoom/Microsoft Teams Video Conferencing
Increasingly we are using video conferencing for meetings or catching up with family and friends. Ensure the “waiting room” functionality is enabled if you are setting up a video conference meeting. All our Cambridge Partners meetings are set up this way to ensure confidentiality is maintained.
At Cambridge Partners we are constantly looking to strengthen our cyber security, stay vigilant and protect important information. For us, this task is simplified when those people we are working with are also vigilant in protecting themselves. We highly recommend speaking to experts in the security field.
The CERT NZ website is a great source of information on how to keep yourself cyber safe and report suspicious activity.