Childcare providers have been offered advice and guidance on how to protect sensitive data and safeguard staff and children by minimising the risk of a cyber security incident.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ – the UK’s intelligence, cyber and security agency – has published this guidance which offers early years practitioners top tips on how to protect their devices and data from cyber incidents.

The guidance, which has been produced in consultation with major stakeholders, covers topics including setting up strong passwords on devices and accounts, how to communicate with families safely and dealing with suspicious messages.

Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for Economy and Society Engagement, said: “We know that incidents affecting the education sector are increasingly common, so it’s vital that all providers know how to secure their devices and sensitive data.

“As many early years practitioners work on their own without dedicated IT support, this guidance sets out the practical first steps they can take to protect themselves from cyber incidents.

“By following our advice, they’ll not only be keeping their businesses safe, but will also be keeping those in their care and families safe too.”

The four key steps for practitioners to follow are:

  1. Backing up your important information – identifying what data you couldn’t operate without or are legally obliged to safeguard and creating a proper back-up.
  2. Using passwords to control access to your computers and information – switching on password protection; using strong passwords and password managers; setting up two-factor authentication and communicating safely with families.
  3. Protecting your devices from viruses and malware – turning on antivirus products and keeping IT devices up to date.
  4. Dealing with suspicious messages (phishing attacks) – tips for spotting suspect messages and unusual requests, reporting these messages and what to do if you have already responded.

The NCSC recently led a webinar about cyber security aimed at the early years sector as part of Cyber Scotland Week.

The session is still available to watch online by clicking here.

Read the full story here, as reported by daynurseries.co.uk


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