Suits and Cyber Security

I've taken to wearing suits at work. This is new sartorial direction for me and is based on my careful observations of fashion trends over the last few years and the realisation that I seem to have bought a bunch of suits recently I really should get some wear from. There is no truth in the rumour that I'm trying to appear more grown up and knowledgeable.

Although if there was, you might think it was working. I was called in to Radio Humberside this morning to make some comments about cyber security and my performance, and probably my suit, resulted in me be called back to appear on local TV talking about the same subject, which was rather nice. If I ever get around to wearing a tie I could probably take over the universe....

Anyhoo, during the TV spot (thanks to Tolu Adeoye for being so patient) I was asked for the three things pieces of advice that I'd give to people worried about being caught up by cyber crime. I thought I'd put them here too:

  1. If someone is on the phone telling you that your bank account/paypal account/home computer/coffee machine is under attack and you need to do something, take time out to double check. These people use a trick where they keep the phone line open during their call to you, and so you think you are using your phone to ring out but you are still talking to them. Use a different phone, go on the web, even walk around to the bank branch and double check.  Ask your neighbor to make the call, or use their phone to call the number on the back of your bank card.
  2. Make sure that you protect your identity online. Pick passwords that are personal to you, but hard for others to guess. Run words together. Something like "HullIsWhereILove" would be pretty hard for someone to guess, particularly if you change one or two of the characters for a digit and make "HulliswhereIl0v3".
  3. Keep your computer up to date. Make sure that you install all the latest software patches when they are released and that you have some kind of software protection .The Windows Defender package that is part of Windows is a good starting point, and will serve you well as long as you are careful.