6 Ways to Improve your Online Security

Are you doing what you need to protect yourself from cybercriminals? The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has shared its six top tips to help us all be more cyber aware this year.

Their guidance includes:

1. Use a strong and separate password for your email

If a hacker gets into your email, they could:

  • reset your other account passwords

  • access information you have saved about yourself or your business

Your email password should be strong and different to all your other passwords. This will make it harder to crack or guess.

2. Create strong passwords using three random words

When you use different passwords for your important accounts, it can be hard to remember them all. A good way to create strong, memorable passwords is by using 3 random words.

Do not use words that can be guessed (like your pet’s name). You can include numbers and symbols if you need to. For example, “RedPantsTree4!” Saving your passwords in your browser will help you manage them.

3. Save passwords in your browser

Saving your password in your browser means letting your web browser (such as Chrome, Safari or Edge) remember your password for you.

This can help:

  • make sure you do not lose or forget your passwords

  • protect you against some cybercrime, such as fake websites

4. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication (2FA) helps to stop hackers from getting into your accounts, even if they have your password. Some online banking uses 2FA automatically. It does this by asking for more information to prove your identity, such as:

  • a PIN, password or code

  • Biometrics - a fingerprint or face ID

5. Update your devices

Out-of-date software, apps, and operating systems contain weaknesses. This makes it easier to hack.

Companies fix their weaknesses by releasing updates. When you update your devices and software, this helps to keep hackers out.

Turn on automatic updates for your devices and software that offer it. This will mean you do not have to remember each time.

Some devices and software need to be updated manually. You may get reminders on your phone or computer. Do not ignore these reminders. Updating will help to keep you safe online.

6. Turn on backup

Backing up means creating a copy of your information and saving it to another device or to cloud storage (online).

Backing up regularly means you will always have a recent version of your information saved. This will help you recover quicker if your data is lost or stolen.

You can also turn on automatic backup. This will regularly save your information into cloud storage, without you having to remember.

You can view or download the entire guide on the NCSC’s website.

The contents of this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of Cyber Resilience Centre for Greater Manchester (CRCGM) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others.  Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. CRCGM provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us.

CRCGM does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this website. CRCGM is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.