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Remote Work: 5 tips to protect your organisation against cyberattacks

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protect your organisation against cyberattacks

There is a popular misconception that cybercriminals exclusively target big organisations with attacks but that is very far from the truth. You should be looking to protect your organisation against cyberattacks whether you are a huge company or a small organisation.

The fact is that a large percent of medium and small enterprises are at the risk of getting cyberattacks.

As a matter of fact, in a recent survey of organizations around the world who had a staff strength between 10 to 1,000 employees, it was discovered 64% of them had suffered cyberattacks!

This means that the need to protect yourself is not a worry that should be peculiar to large organisations, it is something that every company has to worry about.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have been forced to adapt the remote working model. Even with the eased lockdown, many organisations have continued to work remotely either due to the fact that they think it is not yet safe to start bringing their staff members to their brick and mortar locations or because they have become more productive working remotely.

Although it is outstanding to see many organisations embracing the remote work model, it must be said that remote work, like any other thing on earth, has its own downsides. But if managed properly, the negatives will not impact your business.

One of the things that working on the internet exposes you to is cyberattacks. Cyberattacks are malicious attempts by fraudulent parties to interfere in your business processes or steal your information for personal gain or the gain of their organisation.

It is very imperative that organisations that are now working remotely take active steps to protect their organisations from malicious cyberattacks. In this post, I will show you 5 easy steps that you can take to protect your organisation against cyberattacks whether you are working remotely or even if your staff members use the internet.

Below are 5 tips to protect your organisation against cyberattacks:

Use Complex Passwords Across Your Organisation

If you want to secure your organisation, you have to start from the basics. Most hackers and cybercriminals gain access into your organisation by guessing the passwords of users in the organisation. The best thing to do is to make that process as difficult as possible.

Using complex passwords ensures that malicious individuals find it difficult to gain access into your organisation.

If you can’t generate difficult passwords yourself, you can use one of the many free password generator tools that are available online.

And if you are finding it difficult to remember the complex passwords in your organisation, you can use trusted platforms like LastPass.

LastPass can actually help with complex password generation also.

Use Multifactor Authentication

A multifactor authentication process will further help strengthen your organisation’s cybersecurity. It simply involves creating multiple step processes for users to access your dashboards and platforms.

Let’s say for example, you sign in with your password, you will then be prompted to sign in with a pin before you are allowed access to a platform. That’s an example of multifactor authentication.

Multifactor authentications further complicates the hacking process for intruders as they are more likely to know just one password in the multifactor authentication process.

Employ Role-Based Security

There are different roles and seniority levels at your company. It might be wise to give different accesses to employees in different departments/different seniority levels. 

That way, if you are compromised, you will know that the intruder has access to a few of your business dashboards/platforms instead of a situation where everyone has access to everything and the whole company is at risk.

Mandate Logging and Auditing

Loggin simply entails that you use technology to monitor and save data about people that log in to your business platforms. Doing that will give you the opportunity to audit microscopically, the people that logon to your dashboards also affording you the opportunity of identifying threats and suspicious login attempts.

If a person repeatedly inputs the wrong login information for example, you can be notified and take measures to verify their identity.

Give your end users control

Your staff members must be on board if you truly want to ensure your company’s security on the worldwide web.

Educating your employees and partners to be very security-conscious is very important for your security, but also make sure that you give them control over their passwords and authentications. That way, they can quickly change their details if they feel compromised.

Cybersecurity is a huge part of the modern work culture. In Nigeria, remote work has exploded due to the coronavirus quagmire and experts are predicting that remote work is going to stay as the new normal in Africa and beyond.

However, with the growth of remote work has also come the negative of cyberattacks. If the steps outlined in this post are followed, you will be at less risk of getting compromised.,

Saviour Adugba is a journalist by day and a poet by night. He is fascinated by the internet of things, virtual reality and connecting the dots for brands. Saviour is the Lead, Content Development at TechEconomy.ng.

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Ten useful things Google Search can do for you

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Image Credit: USATODAY.COM/Google

Millions of people make use of Google Search to get answers and information every day. A lot of us aren’t harnessing the full power of Google, though.

Google Search’s Web, Image, Video, News, Maps and More tabs can help ensure you get the kind of results you are after.

Beyond simple queries, there is a lot more you can achieve with Google Search. Here are ten useful things that Google Search can do for you.

1. Search Jobs

By searching for “jobs near me” or specifically for the job position you seek, you can find options that you are interested in and apply for them.

Google offers a quick and easy way to find your next job whether it is full-time, part-time or an internship.

2. Search lyrics

Search for lyrics to your favourite songs. By typing, ‘song name’ plus “lyrics” in the search bar, you get the lyrics displayed at the top of the search results page.

This is useful for fans, music lovers, during karaoke, or for a chorister who wishes to learn how to sing a song.

3. Weather Updates

Get weather updates for any city on any day. Simply search “weather” plus “city name”, and the day you are interested in and you get the current forecast.

This is particularly useful for travellers and when planning for a choice of clothing for an outing. Additionally, having knowledge about the weather can help keep you safe.

4. Stop Watch

Google Search provides a personal time keeper that helps you measure the speed of an activity. While stopwatches are great for sporting events, you can also use the stopwatch on Google Search to time yourself as you work. Just type “timer’” or “stopwatch” into the search box.

5. Get recipes for meals

Beef up your cooking skills by searching for the recipe for any meal you can imagine on Google Search. You will get web and video results for your search and can also search for drink recipes to accompany your meal.

6. Ask about calories

If you are being careful about what you eat for health and fitness reasons, you can check up information about the food you are planning to eat. 

Search for specific information to determine the calories in your food. For example, try searching for how many calories are in rice.

7. Get real time game scores

For fans of sporting events, Google Search provides real-time information about ongoing games and scores. You can also search the name of a sports team or league to get a summary of recent matches.

8. Search by voice

Don’t want to type? Use voice search instead. Simply click on the microphone icon, say what you want to search for, and watch Google reveal the results.

You can find the microphone icon on the right-hand side of the Google Search bar. Go ahead, click and speak. 

9. Just for Fun 

Take a break with Google Search and play games or enjoy other fun activities. Try a one minute breathing exercise by typing, “breathing exercise” in the search bar.

This helps you to calm down and refocus your brain in-between work hours or when you need to meditate. You can also play games like Atari Breakout, Google Pacman, Solitaire, or Snake by simply searching for them.

10. Search health conditions

You can search for health conditions and get snapshots of the condition, its symptoms and possible treatment in Google Search using Health Knowledge Panels.

Google collaborated with a team of medical experts from institutions such as the University of Ibadan and the Mayo Clinic to ensure that medical facts gathered represent real-life clinical knowledge.

Even with the health information available via Google Search, users are advised to consult a medical professional regarding actual health concerns.

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Keep Children Safe Online by adopting these NCC’s SMART rules [VI]

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Keep Children safe online

In this concluding part of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) series on ‘Keep Children Safe Online’ in partnership with the Cece Yara Foundation, we shall focus on four key things that will help you as a parent or caregiver to achieve the aims of this campaign.

ncc logo
NCC logo

Four tips to help protect your children online

1. Build trust by keeping communication open and supportive:

Your child knows they can come to you if something goes wrong or does not feel right online.

Therefore, watch TV, play games and enjoy digital platforms with your children.

Also, make out time to discuss online opportunities, entertainment, learning and risks.

2. Be the parent, offline and online, by setting limits, controls and standards:

Set time limits for all activities, including online activities. Balance screen time with other activities.

Set location for device use. Where possible, use desktops not mobile devices. Keep devices away from private locations like bedrooms.

Set up parental controls and filters for harmful content.

Have clear agreements on online activities.

And be alert to signs of distress or problems.

3. Make sure your child/children understand(s) the ‘SMART RULES’:

S: Safe- Do not give out personal information when chatting or uploading online. Personal information includes your email address, phone number and passwords.

M: Meeting- Meeting someone you have only been chatting with online can be unsafe.

A: Accepting– Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, pictures or text messages from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems; they may contain viruses or horrible messages.

R: Reliable– Someone online might lie about who they are and the information on the internet may not be true. Always check information with other websites, books or someone who is knowledgeable. If you like chatting online it’s best to only chat with real world friends and family.

T: Tell– Tell your parent or trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.

4. Lead by example:

Use devices responsibly.

Show respect in your online platform language and content.

Help your child to develop digital intelligence and social and emotional skills such as respect, empathy, critical thinking and resilience.      

Also, help your child practice and become a responsible online citizen.

The End –

You can contact NCC via Toll Free Line: 622 or Cece Yara Foundation: 08008008001(for children, toll free) or 07007007001 (for adults, non toll free).

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NCC tips: Child online safety talking points between parent and a child [V]

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Children online

It is advisable that questions (as shown below) are asked as part of a conversation between a parent/carer and a child as we continue to educate ourselves on online safety.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Cece Yara Foundation, have advised against adopting a confrontational approach. These can be explored in a game form, to avoid the child being evasive or untruthful.

Welcome to today’s edition of ‘Keep Children Safe Online’ series courtesy NCC and Cece Yara Foundation.

So, what are the questions?

1. On the average, how many hours do you spend online daily?

Take note that the time a child spends online may include time spent on academic or other learning activity.

2. What activity, will you say you spend most time on, when online?

Whatever activity they mention, check to see that they are not engaging excessively.

It is important that a healthy balance is created between online activities and offline activities.

Online addiction for whatever reason is unhealthy for the child.

3. Who do you turn to for advice on issues arising online?

Do not take it personal if your child says s/he speaks to someone else. Research has shown that most children will rather speak to their peers or other online friends.

This is because they either feel uncomfortable having such conversations with their parents or they believe they know more than their parents on online issues.

 

4. Have you been asked for a nude picture of yourself online? If yes, did you send the picture when asked?

Sending nudes or sexting is common amongst young children. Those children who end up sending their pics do so because they trust the person on the other end of the screen.

Children need to be made to understand that images when shared may never leave the internet and can be reshared a million times and more.

It may follow the child to adulthood and such issues have been known to lead to deaths.

5. Do you have friends/followers online who are strangers?

If yes, do not cut the child’s internet/smartphone usage because of this alone.

Having strangers as friends could serve as an opportunity for children to discover and express themselves. However, it provides the platform for online grooming of children which portends great danger for children.

Social Network Sites (SNS) have also increased the opportunities for such interactions.

The more children are exposed to SNS, the greater the potential for online-offline contacts and negative emotional exposure.

“Parents must handle this line of conversation carefully in order not to push the child right into the arms of evil strangers”, NCC said.

6. Have you ever been bullied online? 

Find out how they felt and together discuss solutions. Do not make them feel punished twice by blaming them for being bullied.

Research shows that 20.8% of children within the 12-16 years bracket have either bullied or been bullied online.

Bullying is becoming a common phenomenon online.

… To be continued

You can contact NCC via Toll Free Line: 622 or Cece Yara Foundation: 08008008001(for children, toll free) or 07007007001 (for adults, non toll free).

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