October is Cyber Security Month and it is a good time to highlight how you can stay safe online.

In 2022 2.1 million malicious cyber campaigns were reported and it’s really important than ever to try and protect yourself online.

There are numerous types of cyber-attacks, from Denial-of-service (DoS), which is when an attacker aims to overwhelm a computer, network, or service with the goal of making it unavailable to users, to code injection, when an attacker introduces malicious code into an application. These attacks impact people and businesses every day. The most common cyber attacks are Phishing, Malware and Password Cracking and here are some ways you can project yourself.

Phishing is one of the most common forms of cyber-attack. It involves an attacker trying to trick you into providing them with sensitive information, clicking on a link which downloads malware onto your device, or accessing a fake website where they can steal your credentials.

To avoid falling victim to these attacks, it’s important to be aware of what to look out for. Phishing is most often done via email and can use the appearance of a legitimate organisation or an urgent deadline to pressure you into doing what they ask.

If an email or a social post looks too good to be true or suspicious don’t click on it. If you received an email click on the sender email address as it will usually not be an official email address. Think before you click.

Malware is an umbrella term for types of malicious software that attackers can use to steal your data and damage or take control of your devices. Some common examples of malware include viruses, ransomware, and Trojan horses. Examples you may not have come across as frequently include spyware, ads, and worms.

Make sure you use up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware programmes on your home and work devices. Create regular backups of your data and install security updates as soon as they become available.

Passwords are one of the most straightforward ways to protect our information. Unfortunately, attackers can use numerous methods to discover passwords and weak ones can be cracked in seconds.

To make sure you’re keeping your accounts secure creating longer, more unusual passwords using three random words. These should avoid common passwords that can be easily guessed (such as ‘ABC123’ or ‘password’), significant dates, or family and pet names, as much of this information can be found on your social media profile.

You should also avoid using the same password across multiple accounts, so that if one is compromised, it doesn’t allow attackers to access all your information.

Think before you click and if something feels too good to be true trust your instincts and check with someone or even the retailer directly.