While cyber security has always been on the agenda, it’s more important than ever with the rise in use of digital devices and services. We follow government guidance to protect the NHS network and patient data in Somerset would like to share some of the important advice and guidance we have with our Somerset residents.
Top Tips for Staying Safe Online
- Be suspicious of any emails, calls or texts asking you to provide personal or financial information. Question whether they would legitimately be asking for this kind of information over the phone or via email or text message.
- Verify the authenticity of the request by another means i.e., contacting the organisation via a known email address or phone number, not the one you have been contacted on.
- Do not click on attachments or links in suspicious emails or text messages. On a computer you can hover over a link (without clicking) to check where it will take you.
- Use strong passwords which you never share, using 3 random words is a good format to follow. You can also make this stronger using special characters, capital letters and numbers.
- Ensure your devices are kept up to date with the latest security updates and protected with up-to-date anti-virus software.
- Change the default password for your home Wi-Fi router & ensure your home broadband router is up to date. Default passwords can often be found online & router updates will address security fixes and patches.
- Be mindful of your digital footprint, turning on privacy settings on your social media accounts limits the amount of information a malicious actor could learn about you on the internet.
- Checking for the padlock or ‘s’ in ‘https’ ensures you have a secure connection when accessing a website. Be mindful this does not always mean the site is genuine!
- Use multifactor authentication, this adds an extra layer of security when accessing your accounts.
If you notice a suspicious webpage posing as the NHS, or you receive a fake text message impersonating us make sure to report to the relevant channels
- Forward any suspicious text messages to 7726; a free of charge service which will report the message to your mobile phone provider.
- Report suspicious emails to email@example.com
- Report suspicious or scam websites to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) via their website at Report a suspicious website – NCSC.GOV.UK
- If you suspect you may have given out personal or financial information, make sure to inform your relevant banking organisation and report the crime to Action Fraud. Either via phone by calling 0300 123 2040 or 0300 123 2050 for textphone or via Action Fraud’s online reporting tool.
- Guidance on setting privacy settings on social media profiles – Social Media: how to use it safely – NCSC.GOV.UK
If you would like to learn more about ways you can protect yourselves online, please visit the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Cyber Aware webpage for further information Cyber Aware – NCSC.GOV.UK.