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The way we live and work have been uprooted during these past two years—but one thing we don’t hear enough about is that among the many things the pandemic has also changed the world of crime as we know it. Particularly after the rapid acceleration in the digital transformation, that completely revolutionised the way most businesses communicate and operate, luring even the most stubborn to the online world—the number of online threats has skyrocketed across the entire internet sphere, endangering organisations and individuals alike.

Safer Internet at QUIK

As we celebrated Safer Internet Day yesterday, we just wanted to take this opportunity to share our take on how to help make the internet a safer and better place for all, not just on Safer Internet Day but all year round. At QUIK, we’re committed, across our entire business, to playing our part in helping create and maintain a better online world. This is why our internet safety plan is intertwined with our daily activity, whether we’re working from our HQ, or working from our living rooms. 

“Working with sensitive data comes with great responsibility,” says Jacqueline Muscat, Head of Delivery, at QUIK Gaming, “and this is why we, first of all, provide all our employees with regular education and training sessions on how to protect themselves, our business and our clients on the internet. As technology evolves, the threats that use such technology grow in parallel, and so we ensure we provide our staff with the latest information they’d need to work safely.”

“We also have several policies in place across all levels of our work. These go from protecting our data from unauthorised access to password protection, virus prevention, and so much more, such as an intrusion detection policy, and third party access policy. The way I see it is that with internet safety, it’s always best to act keeping the worst-case scenario in mind. It might not always be the case, but it sure keeps you on your toes for anything that might happen.” 

The QUIK guide to being safer online

Cyberthreats are constantly evolving, and risks such as identity theft, phishing, online scams, and malware have become part of our daily working lives. This is why we’ve listed some pointers to help you stay safer online: 

1. Use strong passwords 

One of the most common ways hackers gain access to someone else’s account is by guessing their password. This makes using a strong password paramount to internet safety. Using long and complex passwords, which are a combination of characters such as punctuation marks, parentheses, as well as upper-case and lower-case letters and numbers is likelier to discourage potential hackers from guessing your password and accessing your computer. Similarly, multi-factor authentication will require users to identify themselves by more than a username and password—adding an extra layer of security and a greater deterrent to cyber-criminals. 

2. Back up your data and files at regular intervals

Data losses can occur for several reasons—and that includes viruses, ransomware attacks and physical theft. With 1 in 10 computers infected with viruses each month, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds in the United States alone, and ransomware attacking a business every 14 seconds, creating a secure archive of your important information, be it on the cloud or hardware,  should be a priority across all levels of your business. And while doing so will not prevent any similar attacks—you’ll still always be one step ahead of any criminals, while also maintaining access to all your information. 

3. Update your antivirus regularly

New viruses are constantly emerging, and the only way to protect your computer from these new threats is to regularly update your antivirus software. Not doing so means you might not be protected against the latest cyber security threats. Installing these updates usually doesn’t take that long either—so perhaps it’s time to stop asking your software to “remind you later”, and click install instead. It’s also an excellent excuse to take some time away from your computer and grab a cup of coffee! 

4. Keep your operating system and software applications up to date

Similarly to antivirus software, operating system and software applications updates might contain patches that are crucial to fixing any security holes. Cyberthreats such as malware attacks take advantage of these gaps to gain access to computers and user accounts—making them a key element to protecting your information

5. Use a secured, encrypted and hidden Wi-Fi network

Particularly with the rise of remote work, the temptation to join the first open Wi-Fi network, without too much consideration of its safety might be high. Such networks can be dangerous to join, as their lack of security makes them ideal hotspots for snooping, and malicious activity. If everyone can join the same network, not everyone will do so with the best intentions. If you must join such networks, make sure you’re doing so on an encrypted website—and most importantly, invest in a VPN and use it when on public Wi-Fi. Such software will add a layer of protection—as anyone prying will see you’re using a VPN, but not what you’re doing through it. 

6. Do not open any suspicious-looking emails and attachments 

Suspicious-looking emails are part and parcel of having an email account and an inbox these days—and as technology advances further, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between legitimate emails and malicious ones. 

As a general rule, it’s best to avoid opening any emails that contain any .exe files, as these might be used to installed malware on your computer. But that’s not it—emails coming from any of your colleagues but sent from a different email to the one they’re known to use for work might be a disguised phishing attack by cybercriminals, as are those emails with an unnecessary sense of urgency (e.g. emails asking you to send any payments or sensitive data within a certain timeframe), ones with poor grammar, missing salutations and vague subject/body fields. 

If you’re uncertain about whether an email is genuine or not, it’s always best to drop a line to your colleague or client, ensuring they were the ones who sent the email. You can also contact your IT team, whose trained eye can help you understand whether something is safe to download or not. 

Together for a better internet

This year’s Safer Internet Day theme, “Together for a better internet” truly encapsulates the right approach towards internet safety. Such simple actions can help create a better online space for all—so anyone from parents to young people, policymakers, to entire organisations and industries, plays a crucial role in creating a better internet for all—not only for present generations but for future ones as well.