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Can you remember the name of your first pet?

Posted 19th October 2021

Can you remember the name of your first pet?

Social media and the risk to your online business security. Just a bit of fun?

We’ve all seen them. And if we’re honest, most of us have probably filled in a few as well.

We’re talking about those fun quizzes and games on Facebook. “Find your stripper name: just use the name of your first pet followed by your grandmother’s surname.”

Or the ones that ask for your date, month and year of birth, to find out which mythical creature you are, or your very own Christmas elf name.

But there’s more to these posts than meets the eye, with very serious implications for your business’s cyber security.

Is sharing caring?

How often have you casually shared these personal details through seemingly innocuous social media interactions? And importantly, how many of your employees have done the same?

A way to find out more about your friends and share a laugh, right?

Or are they in fact a terrifyingly efficient method of harvesting priceless personal information about millions of social media users? Just the kind of information they are likely to use when coming up with passwords, or the answers to common security questions.

Giving yourself away

Sadly for many individuals and businesses, it’s the latter.

Filling out multiple surveys and quizzes, and even posting regularly about wedding anniversaries or children’s birthdays, over time people voluntarily give out masses of information about themselves. Scammers and hackers, whose business it is to capitalise on such lapses in judgment, use this to build up a very detailed profile of a user. This profile can then be used, along with specially-developed software, to predict likely passwords and security answers

Bad news for businesses

Here’s where it gets particularly scary for any business owner or manager: your staff do not just use and reuse these favourite passwords for their own bank accounts, email and other so-called secure online resources. They use them for your business systems too.

Time and again, against all professional advice, employees create passwords using dates of important life events such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries, pet names or names of children, or even their own names.

For ease and speed of use, staff also frequently fail to activate Two Factor or Multi- Factor Authentication, further seriously jeopardising your business systems and data security.

High-profile problem

An article in the Guardian recently highlighted concerns from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about the way in which social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are effectively acting as gateways for fraudsters and hackers. The FCA has demanded that these companies follow Google’s recent example and crack down on scammers.

But until these very necessary changes happen, what can you do today to protect your business from attack, and create a corporate culture where your employees are aware of the dangers, to their own security as well as that of the company, and take the issue far more seriously?

Act now

Taking control of the way in which staff approach data security is the key to closing  these potential breaches before they cost you time, confidentiality, money and a  great deal of inconvenience.

Instead of leaving cyber security to chance, and hoping for the best, an expert IT support service such as ourselves can help you protect your enterprise by providing  staff user awareness training, safe password management systems and even a  specialist dark web audit, which will demonstrate how many of your systems are already breached.

Shine a light on the real risks, and achieve staff engagement in moving forward in a more secure manner.

Talk to us

Contact us today to find out how we can fix any breaches in your systems, prevent future problems and assist your staff to fully comprehend and implement the highest levels of confidentiality and proper security protocols. We are ready to help.

Business Cyber Risk Scorecard

Business Cyber Risk Scorecard

Long gone are the days of having an Anti-virus software on your device and thinking thats you covered, its now a fast moving and evolving landscape that needs constant awareness on whats happening, a multi-layered approach to protecting the business networks and data, and expert advice. 

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