Cyber Security

Cyber Security Awareness Month started in the US in 2004, as a joint initiative between the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Since then, it has become a global ‘event’, with October the month in which governments and cyber-focused organisations do what they can to promote cyber security awareness.

As more and more of us were forced to suddenly adopt digital technologies because of the Covid-19 pandemic, here at risual, we want to pass on advice on how you can recognise potential cybersecurity risks and stay safe online.

The Internet of Things, IoT, is the network of all the devices that can be connected to the Internet. You may automatically think of your laptop or smart TV, but IoT also includes things like gaming consoles, home assistant devices, your house alarm or your baby monitor. And while these devices can improve how we live and work, remember, anything that’s connected to the Internet can be vulnerable to attacks by hackers.

Like keeping our doors locked to keep our homes safe from burglars, keeping our online accounts secure is vital to help protect ourselves from cyber criminals – and passwords are the key. Here are some tips to help you keep your accounts safe online.

  1. Choose a strong password – The stronger your password is, the more difficult it is to hack your account.
  2. Use a password manager – A password manager is a convenient way to take care of your passwords.
  3. Enable multi factor authentication (MFA) – Multi-factor authentication (like 2FA) provides an extra layer of security to help protect your accounts.
  4. Do all of the above – For extra security, use a password manager that will create strong passwords for you and enable multi-factor authentication when available for your best chance to keep your accounts secure.

Top tips for protecting yourself online

Going online helps you stay connected with family and friends, keeps you up to date with news, gives you access to online learning and much more. But it is always a good idea to keep security in mind and there are lots of things you can do to protect yourself.

  1. Be aware of what information you are sharing – When you’re completing a profile for an account, only give information that is necessary and that you are comfortable giving. Use the privacy and security settings and disable any features you don’t need. If you’re unsure about it, reconsider creating the profile with that company.
  2. Think before you post – Posting when you’re emotional is not always a good idea, what you post online stays there forever. Even if you delete it afterwards, someone could have saved or forwarded it. Wait until you are calmer then think about it again, do you really want to post that comment?
  3. Consider the consequences – If you’re posting a photo, have you considered if everyone in the photo is happy for you to publish it? You may be giving away information, like where you live. And posting pictures from your amazing holiday is telling burglars you are not at home
  4. Pause before you play – Before you take part in that fun game that is doing the rounds on social media, consider what they are asking you – your first pet’s name, your mother’s maiden name? These are the same questions that are used for security, for example by the bank, so answering them could be giving important information to hackers
  5. Makes sure you know who you are connecting with – Be aware that scammers use social networks, websites and send messages to your phone to steal your information, your money or your identity. You can protect yourself by not giving any personal information, money or account details unless you can verify by another means of communication who you are sharing them with.
  6. Stay tuned to cybersecurity news – Following the news and asking family and friends to let you know about scams that are in circulation e.g. phishing scams, malicious software (like Flubot) and fake websites can help you stay safe online.

At risual, we offer the Cyber security technologist apprenticeship alongside all other digital standards, If you are interested in an apprenticeship or any training course, please get in touch via or call 0300 303 2044 or visit the website via

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