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Cybersecurity got the attention of doctors last year as the WannaCry attacks shut down computers with messages demanding ransom payments. The attacks cost the NHS an estimated £92m. It affected at least 80 trusts across England and a further 595 GP practices. The hack also had a big impact on patients causing the cancellation of 19,000 appointments. But cybersecurity is not just an issue for big organisations, an estimated 17 million Britons were affected by cybercrime last year. Like ordinary crime, it is difficult to eliminate, but we can take sensible precautions to minimize the risks. Here are some sensible precautions to help you stay safe online at home and at work:1. Don’t use the same password for home and work: Remembering multiple passwords is a pain but if one of your accounts is compromised it could potentially give hackers access to work systems. At home you should avoid using the same email address and password on multiple accounts as again if compromised a hacker would have access to both systems.2. Use longer passwords or a memorable phrase (up to 24 characters is fine): Stolen or weak passwords are still the most common reason for data breaches. A memorable four word password is an easy solution to remember or consider using a password management service.3. Be careful when entering passwords: When you in a public setting, make sure no one can see you enter your password.4. Try to avoid public Wi-Fi where possible: Public Wi Fi may not be secure, so make sure you do not set your devices to automatically connect when a network becomes available.5. Phishing emails: 'Phishing' scams are emails designed to look like they come from legitimate companies asking you for personal information. Examples include fake emails from UK banks and government departments like HMRC. Make sure you read emails that ask for personal information carefully, be wary if the spelling and grammar is off and be suspicious if the email demands urgent action with the offer of reward. Remember if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.6. Keep your software up to date: When you are prompted to install updates, it is often because the operating system service provider you are using (eg Microsoft windows or Apple macOS) has implemented bug fixes and protection against new threats that have been discovered.7. Make sure you have good antivirus software: Your employer should have this covered but if your personal computer did not come equipped with antivirus software from a leading supplier (McAfee, Norton, Malwarebytes, Scanguard etc) sign-up and install immediately, and ensure your firewall, which monitors and controls network traffic coming to and going from your computer, is turned on too. It is also important that you have live updates switched on.8. Keep your computer screens locked when you are logged in: If you work on computers that are accessible to others, get into the habit of locking your screen. Look after your data like you would your valuables.9. Don’t click on links or open attachments in suspect emails: This is a common way for devices to become infected with viruses and malware. 10. Don’t download dodgy apps: If you have an Android phone, pay special attention. Many Android phones allow for open source application downloads, which can leave your data vulnerable. I hope this advice is helpful. Being vigilant is our biggest tool in defending ourselves against cybercrime. If you find the information in this blog useful please share it with your colleagues.Ian Turfrey is the BMA's chief information officer
* Very useful tips by Ian Turfry.
* Some hackers ring on landline and ask for the owner of the computer whom they want to make alterations on his or her computer. You can ring
1572, if you have that Internet facility, and block that phone number.
Take a moment and try to bet the most popular password presently in use. If you said “password,” you wouldn’t be a ways off. In SplashData’s annual list of the most normally used passwords, “password” ranks No. 2. “123456” ranks No. 1. Those are not passwords, they may be moist cardboard.
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