Information Best practices for protecting yourself from cybercrime

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Direction de la Sûreté Publique

9, rue Suffren Reymond

MC 98000 MONACO

Monaco Police Department :
(+377) 93 15 30 15

Fax : (+377) 93 50 65 47

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Direction de la Sûreté Publique

9, rue Suffren Reymond

MC 98000 MONACO

Phone : (+377) 93 15 30 15

Fax : (+377) 93 50 65 47

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Definition

Cybercrime is a term which encompasses all types of fraud and other examples of dishonesty that a person might encounter while using the internet.

To reduce the risk of cyberattacks, it is strongly recommended that you follow the advice available to you on this page.

 

Best practices 

Passwords

Email accounts, social media, online banking, online shopping and government services, corporate networks and applications... Secure access to all of these everyday services now relies primarily on passwords. Given the profusion of passwords, it is very tempting to adopt an approach to managing them which is too simple, but this could be dangerous and it may considerably increase the risks of compromising the security of your accounts.

Here are ten best practices for managing your passwords effectively:

  • Use a different password for each service
  • Use a password that is impossible to guess
  • Change your password if you have the slightest suspicion that it has been compromised
  • Use a password which is sufficiently long and complex
  • Use a password manager
  • Never share your password with a third party
  • Do not use your passwords on a shared computer
  • Activate two-factor authentication wherever possible
  • Change the default passwords provided by the various services you use
  • Choose a particularly strong password for your email account

 

Create secure passwords:

Choose passwords which contain at least 12 characters of different types (upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers and special characters).

Two useful methods:

  • The phonetic method: For example, "I bought eight CDs for 100 euros this afternoon" becomes Ib08CD%Epm 
  • Using initial letters: "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" would become 1bitH=2ITb

Security on social media

Social media networks are powerful and easily accessible communication and information tools. Now an established part of users’ personal online activity, and commonly used by businesses as a shop window, they are not immune to malicious activity. Fraud, identity theft, blackmail, theft of information, cyberbullying, disinformation and defamation are all dangers that users of these networks face.

Here are ten best practices for  staying safe on social media: 

  • Protect access to your accounts
  • Check your privacy settings
  • Control your posts
  • Make sure you know who you are talking to
  • Control third-party applications
  • Avoid using public computers or Wi-Fi networks
  • Check logins to your account on a regular basis
  • Exercise discretion over the information you post
  • Act consciously when using your social media account to log into other websites
  • Delete your account if you no longer use it

Mobile device security

Smartphones and tablets have become practical everyday tools for both personal and professional use. Their capabilities continue to increase and they offer similar or sometimes better functionality than a computer. They hold the same sensitive information and more, or enable access to it. They can be easily lost or stolen. Despite all this, such mobile devices are generally much less well secured by their owners than computers.

Here are ten best practices for securing your mobile devices: 

  • Set up access codes
  • Encrypt the data on your device
  • Install the security updates
  • Back up your information
  • Use anti-virus and other security solutions
  • Only install apps from official stores or websites
  • Control your app permissions
  • Never leave your device unmonitored
  • Avoid using public or unknown Wi-Fi networks
  • Do not store confidential information unprotected

Backups

In our personal and professional lives, we use a variety of digital devices to create and store information, but these devices can break or become damaged, leading to the loss, which can in some cases be irreversible, of your data. To prevent this from happening, it is strongly advised that you make copies to save your data for the long term.

Here are ten best practices for effectively managing data backups:

  • Back up your data regularly
  • Identify the devices and media which hold data
  • Determine which data needs to be backed up
  • Opt for a backup solution that meets your needs
  • Plan your backups
  • Disconnect your backup media after use
  • Protect your backups
  • Test your backups
  • Check your backup media
  • Back up software that is essential for processing your data

Updates

The digital devices and software programs that we use every day are at risk of security vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by cybercriminals to take control of a computer, smartwatch or mobile device. To combat these risks, developers and manufacturers issue patches that seek to fix these vulnerabilities. While installing updates can sometimes feel like a pain, it is essential for your protection.

Here are ten best practices for installing updates:

  • Consider updating all of your devices and software immediately
  • Download updates from official websites only
  • Identify all of the devices and software you use
  • Activate the option to automatically download and install updates
  • Define the rules for installing updates
  • Plan to install updates during downtime
  • Be wary of fake updates found on the internet
  • Stay informed of the regular publication of updates by the developer
  • Test updates where possible and do backups
  • Find another way to protect devices that cannot be updated

Security when mixing personal and business use

The digital transformation is radically changing behaviours and habits. Being online is now the norm. The development of mobile technology (laptops, tablets, smartphones) means that it is now possible to access, from almost anywhere, not just our personal information but also our work IT accounts. The digital boundary between work and home has become more and more porous. In light of these changes, it is vital to adapt your practices in order to protect your business or organisation and your private life.

Here are ten best practices for maintaining security when mixing personal and business use:

  • Use different passwords for all of the personal and business accounts you use
  • Don’t mix your work and personal email accounts
  • Use the internet responsibly at work
  • Be careful what you post on social media
  • Do not use personal online storage services for business purposes
  • Install security updates on your devices 
  • Use anti-virus and other security solutions
  • Only install apps from official stores or websites
  • Be wary of USB media (e.g. booby-trapped USB stick)
  • Avoid using public or unknown Wi-Fi networks

Security for children

Children are also exposed to cyberthreats. Their increased use of social media, instant messaging, computers, smartphones and tablets makes them particularly vulnerable to cyber blackmail, incitement to engage in risky behaviour, suggestion from adults with malicious intent and bullying.

Here are five best practices for making children safer online:

  • Educate children from a very young age about the dangers that they may encounter when using social media, instant messaging, websites, etc. (cyber blackmail, cyberbullying, etc.)
  • Monitor the access and use of these digital tools by children/teenagers
  • Choose a complicated password to prevent hacking
  • Monitor the content posted by your child on social media (photos, texts, etc.)
  • Check your child’s browser history during the week
Last update: 22/04/2021

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