As 2022 draws to a close the seasonal break provides a great opportunity to stop and consider both our home and business security needs as we move forward into 2023.
When reflecting on 2022, what stands out for you? Is it the the continuing impact of the COVID pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or the worldwide economic decline? This past year has been enormously challenging in so many ways and many are suggesting 2023 is likely to be even tougher.
The well known idiom ‘Forewarned is forearmed’ is thought to date from around the end of the 16th century. The meaning is very straightforward. It literally means if you know what’s coming (forewarned) you are already ‘armed in advance’ (forearmed).
When considering both home and business security, being ‘forearmed’ requires a little assessment. Since we know that all aspects of security, from physical premises security to cyber security, are anticipated to be tested in 2023 it makes sense to take steps to be prepared.
An essential aspect of cyber-security for both businesses and individuals is password security. Although we all know how we are not supposed to use the same password across multiple accounts, how many of us actually do this?
According to dataprot.net 51% of people use the same passwords for both their work and personal accounts and analysis of a huge number of passwords (15 billion) shows that the average number of characters is 8 or fewer.
Taking stock of both your professional and personal passwords is a key aspect of ‘being prepared’ for 2023. Here are some actionable password security tips to consider.
- Use unique passwords for each account.
- While this can be challenging, password manager applications such as
- LastPass can really help both in generating secure passwords and importantly, remembering all of those unique passwords for all accounts.
- Analyse your password strength.
- Most sites requiring account passwords provide assessment of the password strength. This is worth paying attention to what these tools tell you and make appropriate adjustments to strengthen your passwords.
- Never use personal information in a password.
- People often choose personal details such as their dates of birth or home address to create their passwords. This represents a significant security risk as this information is often accessible to the public and makes a hackers challenge far easier.
- Enable two factor authentication (2fa)
- Multi factor authentication or two-factor authentication provides a robust extra layer of security. Even if a hacker has been able to guess or determine your password 2fa will protect your account.
- Routinely change your passwords.
- Some recommend that all passwords should be changed every quarter. This helps protect accounts from social engineering, brute force and credential stuffing attacks.
There are many more password related security recommendations, but adhering to these best practices will go a long way toward making both your personal and professional accounts far more secure.
Physical security refers to everything around your home and business that keeps unwanted intruders at bay. Around our homes these physical security measures include the walls, fences and hedges around our properties. And importantly our doors and windows, which are the primary routes through which intruders gain entry.
Our business premises may also be surrounded by fences or walls and both door and window security is as vital here as it is around our homes. During the Christmas period many business premises are unattended for several weeks giving burglars a lengthy opportunity to break in.
In the interests of ‘being prepared’ here are some valuable security checks you can carry out to avoid becoming a crime statistic.
- Thoroughly inspect your property perimeter and carry out repairs wherever needed.
- Consider what else you can do to bolster your perimeter security, such as installing anti climb protection.
- Pay close attention to all your doors and windows both around your home and your place of work. Ensure these are well maintained and always locked.
- Don’t overlook outbuildings, sheds, barns or warehouse storage facilities.
- Criminals know how these buildings will often contain valuables and may not be as rigorously secured as the main home or business building.
- If you don’t already have motion triggered security lighting - install it.
- PIR lighting devices are very affordable, easy to install and act as a powerful deterrent.
- Alongside PIR lighting why not install a simple CCTV camera, or maybe more than one?
- Security cameras have become increasingly sophisticated and very affordable. Coupled with some appropriate warning signage CCTV cameras will keep most criminals away.
Whatever you do - have a great Christmas and a wonderful new year!