IT Security – How to stay safe

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Security is the responsibility of us all.  Follow the tips below and you’ll be helping to keep yourself, your colleagues and your business safe.

1. Don’t be tricked into giving away confidential information or going where you shouldn’t

1.1 Don’t respond to emails or phone calls requesting confidential company information, such information requests can appear genuine as they us such popular brand names like: Microsoft, Telstra, Australia Post, All Major banks

Stay on guard to avoid falling for these scams, one of the reasons these threats keep reappearing is due to the “Bad Guys” being so convincing they profit from their crimes, if you feel you at risk of becoming a victim due to one of these threats report any suspicious activity to Bigfish.

1.2 Review attachments/web links before opening – Web links can be quickly reviewed by hovering your mouse over the link to reveal exactly where you will be sent.  If you’re not expecting it or are not familiar with the source or destination DO NOT CLICK ON OR OPEN IT.  Attachments that are often unsafe are within small and unexpected ZIP files (file types can of course vary).  Below is an example of a bad link followed by a bad attachment:


2. Your Computer and Device Security

Mandatory protection for your device starts with Antivirus software but the best protection you have is your own common sense.  Below is a checklist containing important things to be aware of when it comes to PC/Device security:

  • Secure Passwords – Difficult to self-manage at first but in the long run it could save you from being a victim of a hacking attempt
    • At least 8-12 characters long, use letters and numbers.
    • Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters.
    • Don’t use descriptive words (like “hawthorn”) and add at least one of the following special characters: !#$%^*_
    • Don’t use the same password across multiple logins
  • Be aware of suspect popups appearing when web browsing, if a random popup appears informing you that you have large amount of infections it’s probably false. If you are ever unsure take a screenshot of the pop up close it and contact Bigfish support.
  • Don’t attempt to Google search illegal movie/music downloads these are most likely virus infections that will allow hackers direct access to your environment.
  • Post Notes on your monitor (or on your desk) containing usernames or passwords is not safe method of password storage
  • Lock your computer before you walk away from it, “Windows Key + L”  this will ensure your PC is not usable while you are away from your desk


Why didn’t my anti-virus software or spam filter detect it?

Traditional firewalls, antivirus and antispam software use signatures and behaviours (known actions that malware performs when running) to identify and block malware, they cannot identify unknown threats. As new versions of exploits are released, security software vendors are constantly trying to identify, detect characteristics and distribute updates to block them.

With up to 21,000 new malware being released each week, staying ahead of the instigators is no simple task.  The time to combat this constant stream of security exploits means that some businesses are being infected before updates are created and distributed around the world.


What automated systems can be put in place to assist managing these threats?

Below are some available options for Bigfish Technology customers that proactively run to protect businesses from being victim of potential security threats.

  • If you are subscribed to a Bigfish proactive plan you automatically receive critical and security updates installed every Thursday night, it is extremely important that ALL PC/laptops are left online EVERY Thursday night
  • Bigfish Managed Antivirus solution ensures your devices are all up to date and running regular scans
  • Mail filtering protection, scans all incoming and outgoing messages for potential infected or harmful files/hyperlinks/images and quarantines them to ensure they don’t arrive in your mailbox.
  • Web Filtering protection reduces the risk of a user going to an inappropriate website that could contain malicious software

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