Managing finances

Take care of your cyber security

By Rebecca Timmins

Posted 24th Mar 2022

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Like us, you may be aware that one of the results of the conflict in Ukraine is an increased risk of cyber-attacks. Managing your response to these can seem complicated or difficult to manage, but there are steps you can take.

In the UK, we’re extremely lucky to have some great organisations on hand to offer help and advice, and we’d like to share some of these with you so that you and your family can take action.

Protect your online accounts

For individuals and families, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) offers some simple advice to ensure your online accounts are as safe and protected as they can be.

  1. Protect your email by using strong and separate passwords for each of your accounts: Cyber criminals can use your email to access many of your personal accounts, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft. Use three random words to create a password that’s difficult to crack.
  2. Install the latest software and app updates on your device: Software and app updates contain vital security updates to help protect your devices from cyber criminals so don’t delay installing them.
  3. Turn on 2-step verification (2SV): 2-step verification (sometimes called multi-factor authentication or MFA), is recommended to help protect your online accounts. This means that you will receive a message in your chosen way when a new device tries to log in to your account. 
  4. Create secure passwords with password managers: Using a password manager can help you create and remember secure passwords.
  5. Back up your data: Safeguard your most important data, such as your photos and key documents, by backing them up to an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage system.

Useful sources of guidance

Making sure you have anti-virus software installed on all your devices is essential. There’s plenty of advice available to help you with this. Get Safe Online is particularly helpful. Visit their website, and scroll down to the section titled ‘Choosing internet security software’, for pointers. 

Action Fraud – the UK’s reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime – offer excellent advice on protecting yourself from fraud and cyber-crime. They can also help if you find yourself a victim of fraud or cybercrime. 

Our CEO, Jo Little is a keen reporter of spam texts, forwarding them to the 7726 number. If you’d like to join Jo in her mission, you can find guidance here on the NSCS website.

Finally, if you have an elderly or vulnerable friend or family member, Age UK offer some simple and effective advice on their website. You can also call the Age UK Advice Line for more information on 0800 678 1602. They’re open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.

Our partners, Risk Evolves, worked with us to compile this guidance and we hope you’ve found it useful.