Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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TIPS FOR USAGE OF OFFICIAL DEVICES AND INTERNET SAFETY AT WORK

The usage of devices to carry out personal and official activities has become an integral part of our daily lives. Many institutions use connected devices on the Internet. These devices on the network are utilised for collecting, processing, storing, and sharing vast amounts of digital information. As more digital information is gathered, processed and shared, the more the protection of information on these devices has become crucial.

To protect our devices from the cyberattack, there must be an ongoing effort to protect these networked systems and all of the data from unauthorized use or harm. On a personal level, users need to safeguard their identity, their data, and computing devices. At the corporate level, it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the organization’s reputation, data, and customers. At the state level, national security, and the safety and well-being of the citizens are at stake.

There is the need for everyone to be security conscious. Find below general security tips that can be adopted by all:

1. Use strong passwords 

  • Create passwords, at least eight characters (longer is better), and a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols for your online accounts, computer, phone, and other devices.
  • Keep passwords and PINs secret. Don’t disclose them to co-workers/family/contacts, or be tricked into disclosing them.
  • Don’t use the same password across devices and or applications.
  • Change your passwords as the need arises or every 60 days
  • Check your password strength https://www.security.org/how-secure-is-my-password/
  • Lock your devices when not in use.

2. Protect yourself from email scams 

Hover your mouse/cursor over an email address to view the sender's email address to ensure it is a valid email address.

Look out for phishing emails, alarmist messages, misspellings and grammatical errors, deals or promotions that sound too good to be true, requests for sensitive info like account numbers, BVM, passwords and other signs of a scam. Turn on a filter that warns you of suspicious Web sites.

3. Protect your data on the go 

  • Avoid using public WiFi as much as possible
  • When you use public Wi-Fi, choose the most secure option, even if you have to pay for it. It could include password-protection and encryption.
  • Confirm the exact spelling of the wireless network you’re connecting to. Beware of clever (slightly misspelt) fakes.

4. Regular Backup of Files/laptops 

  • Create folders for the backups and name appropriately.
  • User files should be backed up at least once in a week.
  • Backups should be placed in an external drive and safe.
  • Check backup files once in a week

5. Think before sharing sensitive information 

  • Look for signs of a safe Web page, before you enter sensitive personal or business data–a Web address with https (“s” for secure) and a closed padlock ( ) beside it.
  • Never give sensitive info in response to an e-mail or instant message (IM) request.

6. Think and watch before you click 

  • Pause before you open attachments or click links in an email or IM even if you know the sender; the links/attachments could be deceiving. Confirm with the sender that the message is real or visit the official Website by typing the address yourself.
  • Be wary of clicking links or buttons in pop-up windows.

7. Defend and Protect your computer

Contact your Technical Personnel/Support for the software (operating system, antivirus, etc) updates. Ensure all software (including your Web browser) are current and all recommended security updates/patches are installed. Use updated antivirus, antispam, and antispyware software and firewall. Contact the Technical Support in your organisaton.

 8. Ensure the data and time on the laptop/device is accurate.

The Technical Personnel/Support of your organisation should always be contacted for discussions and installation of software updates on official devices and necessary actions.