With staff and students continuing to work and study remotely, you need to be extra vigilant against cyberattacks as cybercriminals are pulling out all the stops to trick you into clicking and sharing information that could do more harm than good.

Our handy guide will ensure that you are equipped to spot any cyberattacks and ensure that the UCT network and your data remains protected while you work remotely.

YOU are our number one form of defence

ICTS has put a number of security measures in place to ensure that you have the necessary security measures in place to prevent cybercriminals from gaining unauthorised access to the UCT network. One way is to be wary of emails and text messages that you receive.

Always assess each email to ensure that it’s legitimate before taking action. If you’re unsure, contact the sender directly to verify the email and request.

  • Cybercriminals like to add an element of urgency to their requests, as a way to get you to take action without thinking. When receiving urgent emails always check the following first:
    • Correct email address
    • Spelling and grammar
    • Message tone
    • If these all look correct but you’re still unsure, rather contact the sender directly to confirm their request. It’s always better to be cautious.
  • Cybercriminals love to send attachments that contains malware or bugs that can infect your computer, get access to the UCT network and spread viruses to your colleagues. If you’re not expecting an attachment or when you hover over the link and it has a completely different URL, then rather contact the sender to verify its legitimate.
  • Avoid those too good to be true lottery winner notifications, or messages that you won a free trip you can’t remember signing up for.
    • Don’t click on the link.
    • Don’t open the attachment.
    • Rather delete and move on.

Go big at home to protect your network

One of the key tools you will need to work from home is wireless access whether this may be fibre, ADSL, LTE or via a mobile wireless router. Whichever form or shape it comes in, use our steps below to ensure it is secure.

  • Administrator password: You can change your router’s network settings, but you require an administrator password to do this.  A default one always comes with the advice, which if you’re a cybercriminal will know what it is. Secure your home network by changing this password to prevent any unauthorised access. Never share this password with anyone because it could just end up in the wrong hands, and you could end up not being able to access your own home WiFi.
  • Sharing your WiFi password: As soon as people find out you have wireless access; they want to know the password. Try to only share your wireless password with those who you trust, and who you know won’t share it with people you don’t know.
  • Always keep track of who has access to your WiFi and ensure that those devices are regularly updated.

Complex passwords rules

Passwords are the key to vast amounts of information. This information is important to cybercriminals as they can be used for all sorts of things, including stealing your data, identity and hard-earned money. By keeping your password secure you can prevent this from happening to you.

Make your password hard to guess by considering the following tips:

  • Golden rule: Never! Never, share your password with anyone
  • Keep your password safe like you would your bank PIN and toothbrush
  • Create a password in another language
  • Ensure your password contains a combination of letters and numbers
  • Opt for a phrase that you can easily remember instead of a word
  • Never re-use the same password
  • Choose a password manager to help you manage all your passwords
  • Select two or multi-factor authentication when setting up accounts that require a password

Updates are key

Your computer or mobile device is always wanting to install updates and in most cases, you choose to ignore or postpone. These vital updates ensure that your device, operating system and software is protected against possible cyber-attacks and often contains fixes to bugs in previous editions.

So, don’t postpone, update whenever you can to ensure you do your bit to secure your data and device.