Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
11:56 AM 11th October 2023

National Cybersecurity Week: Essential Guide For Non-Techies

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay
With National Cybersecurity Week charting our calendar, it's critical for everyone to step up and navigate the cyber terrain with a newfound perspective — especially if you count yourself as part of the 'non-techy' crowd.

Cyber experts Geonode are here to help you manoeuvre through it all. We've put together a comprehensive guide full of tips that our non-techy readers will benefit from. Now, off we dive into the cyber sea!

The A-B-Cs of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity isn't just about fancy encryption algorithms or complex software. It's about being vigilant and proactive with your digital footprint.

Geonode expert Graham Neilson says:
"Cybersecurity starts at home. Show care in protecting your information, your identity, and your data. It's a basic civic responsibility we all share."

To help our non-techy users get a grasp on this, here are some things to keep in mind:

Choose strong, unique passwords: Incorporate a variety of characters—letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid common choices like '12345' or 'password'.

Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA): Two is better than one! MFA requires multiple credentials before granting access to your accounts.

Regularly update your devices and apps: Software updates often include security patches. Don't ignore these!

Be wary of public Wi-Fi: Though convenient, public Wi-Fi networks can also be hotspots for hackers. When possible, avoid accessing sensitive data when you're connected to one.

Secure your email: We receive dozens of emails daily. Be cautious about which ones you open—especially if the sender looks suspicious.

Do A Deep Cyber Clean

According to Sarah Greenwood:
"A digital spring cleaning can significantly reduce your exposure to risks."

Some steps you can take include:

Delete unnecessary apps: Every app on your devices is a potential gateway for hackers. Only keep what you really need.
Check privacy settings: Review the privacy settings on your social platforms. Make sure you're comfortable with the permissions you've allowed.
Regularly back-up data: Regularly store your important data in a safe place. In worst-case scenarios, having a backup can be a lifesaver.

Foster a Culture of Cyber Awareness

Greenwood also says:
"Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field, and as such, we must stay informed and proactive."

Here are some ways to do that:

Be aware of current cyber threats, scams, and events.
Share what you learn with friends, family, and colleagues.
Stay updated with reliable sources and forums like Geonode.

Graham Neilson, Cybersecurity expert from Geonode says:
"Digital threats are an all-too-real part of our modern lives, but they don't have to be daunting.

"Equip yourself with the key elements of cybersecurity, do regular cyber clean-ups and foster a culture of cyber awareness."