‘Cyber security’ is the technology, processes, and practices designed and put in place to protect networks, devices, computer programmes and data from attack, damage, or unauthorised access. It can also be referred to as ‘information technology security’.
During 2019, more businesses and charities than ever before have taken positive steps to improve their cyber security. This is encouraging news and in part, linked to the introduction of GDPR which requires that personal data must be processed securely using appropriate technical and organisational measures.
The “Facts on hacks”
According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019, a third of UK businesses (32%) and two in ten of UK charities (22%) identified cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. The most common types are:
- Phishing attacks – used to steal user data e.g. your login details and credit card numbers. They occur when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message.
- Impersonation attacks – created to dupe you into revealing information or making financial transactions. The attack itself is carried out by sending an email pretending to be from an organisation you may work with.
- Malware, including ransomware attacks - malware is a general term that is used to describe a number of malicious types of software, including adware, Trojans, spyware and more which are designed to cause harm or damage to a computer.
Protect yourself from these attacks – our top 10 tips!
Don’t underestimate that you are a target – it doesn’t matter how small or big your childcare business is, realise that you are always a potential target to hackers.
Lock and turn off computer when not in use – leaving computing devices on, unattended and connected to the internet opens the door for rogue attacks.
Beware of browsing – sensitive browsing such as banking or shopping should be done on devices that belong to you, on a network you trust. If it’s on a public computer or free Wi-Fi – it is possible that your data could be copied or stolen.
Make passwords secure and strong – practice good password management. Eight characters is not enough. Use a strong mix of upper and lowercase letters, special characters and numbers, use two-factor authentication where possible, and don’t use the same password for all online accounts.
Get rid of old data you no longer need – keep your computer and mobile devices clean, keep only the data you need and safely archive or destroy older data.
Don’t overshare on social media - information gleaned from social media can be used to guess passwords or answer security questions on other sites (e.g. your dog’s name, place of birth, or mother’s maiden name).
Back up securely - back up your data regularly, and make sure your anti-virus and firewall software is always up-to-date.
Recognise and avoid phishing attacks – be wary of emails that contain links or attachments, even if they appear to come from valid sources - email spoofing is the creation of emails with a forged sender address which appears legitimate but is not the spammer’s own address.
Don’t save passwords in your browser – the common practice of ‘’remembering passwords’’ in browsers is not recommended, should someone gain access to your computer or mobile device, they’ll be able to access any accounts for which you’ve stored your login credentials.
Don’t send passwords or account login credentials over public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks – otherwise you are broadcasting to everyone in the radius of your wireless signal all your personal and account information.
If you want to learn more about data protection or refresh your existing knowledge, why not take a look at our CPD course “Data Protection - GDPR”? For the whole of October, we are offering 30% off this course! Use discount code “WC35YL”. Take a look here: bit.ly/CPD-GDPR
Is your childcare business website and data secure?
It is imperative that you use a high quality and trusted source when it comes to the security and safety of your data. Parenta’s website platform and software products’ activities are based on cloud computing services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the childcare industry’s most trusted and secure cloud-based solutions.
Here at Parenta, we build secure and trusted websites for the childcare industry with the following features and security measures:
- Fully GDPR Compliant - features include customisable cookie notifications, opt-in notifications, form response page and privacy page.
- Free SSL (secure site) - you will see a small lock icon in your dashboard to indicate that the site is secure.
- Antivirus, Malware Protection and Path Management - automated vulnerability scans are conducted regularly in order to detect web application vulnerabilities.
- Backup and Restore - Data such as images, files and scripts are automatically backed up on a daily basis via AWS Amazon Machine Image. In addition, data is replicated to another AWS data centre.
Monitoring and Alerts - we use several automated monitoring tools meant to detect abnormalities and misuse.
- Delete and Destroy - customer data will only be stored for as long as Parenta and its customer has an active agreement, and as long as it serves the purposes for which the data was collected.
- Physical Security - password policy is enforced for any user on the platform (account owners, team members, customers). The password is fully encrypted/hashed.
- Network & Data Communication - remote access requires VPN connection and two-factor authentication.
- Access Control - all data communication networks with external access are protected by a central firewall. Networks are separated for functionality and usage.
Our experienced and friendly team are available to help you with your website needs! Get in touch today:
European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) is the EU’s annual awareness campaign that takes place each October across Europe. The aim is to raise awareness of cybersecurity threats, promote cybersecurity among the community and organisations, and provide resources to protect themselves online, through education and sharing of good practices – whether personal, financial or professional. The main goal is to raise awareness, change behaviour and provide resources for everyone about how to protect themselves online.