The following message has been sent to NWS from the Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Team:
Protecting Yourself and Your Community Online
Are you resilient in the online world?
Protecting our families, neighbourhoods, and businesses from cyber attacks is everyone’s responsibility.
There is no silver bullet to defend against cyber criminals, but by getting the cyber basics right, everyone is able to take appropriate measures to stay safe and get the most from being online.
Last week (12th May 2017) thousands of private and public sector organisations across the world were affected by a serious coordinated ransomware attack. While there have been no new sustained attacks of that kind identified (at 15th May 2017), it is important everyone understands how these attacks work and how to protect themselves in the future.
Home users and small businesses can take the following steps to protect themselves:
· Run software and app updates on your internet connected devices (e.g. laptops, tablets, phones) – these updates are free and contain essential security upgrades which help protect your device from viruses and hackers.
· A strong password made up of three random words is your first and best defence against cyber criminals. It’s just like locking your front door or your car – keep them safe and don’t have the same keys for every lock.
· Make sure your antivirus product it is up to date and run a scan – if you don’t have one then install one of the free trial versions from a reputable vendor
· If you have not done so before, this is a good time to think about backing important data up – you can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else. We recommend that you don’t store backups on the same computer, or any other device within your home network. Home users should consider using cloud services to back up their important files. Many service providers (for example, email providers) offer a small amount of cloud storage space for free.
The NCSC have previously published broader guidance on protecting yourself from ransomware, which is available here and Cyber Aware have simple advice on updates and passwords.