Protect your digital devices

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Most people use a computer, tablet, or mobile phone in their company. To avoid malware or intrusions, you need to know how to protect your devices. But it is equally important that you and your employees know how to, for example, handle e-mail in a way that protects the company’s information.

Act safely online

The way in which you and your employees act online is crucial to how well the company’s information can be protected. Only visit websites that you need to visit on behalf of the company. You should have one device for the company and another one for private use.

When shopping online

When buying things online, always double check the company and website. Look for reviews and possible warnings about the company from which you are about to order.

  • Only give out your credit card information to companies that you trust and that have secure online payment methods.
  • Use your bank’s security solution for your company’s bank pay-ment cards. Keep the card blocked for online purchases until you are actually shopping online. 
  • Never give out PIN codes or debit/credit card information to any-one who asks for them e-mail, SMS message or telephone. 
  • Always keep your company’s debit/credit cards safe and secure. 
  • Suspend the card and file a report with the police if you have lost your bank card or detect or suspect that an unauthorised pur-chase has been made.

Manage your e-mail and other messages in a secure manner

Pay special attention to messages sent to you in e-mails, via SMS or in chat apps where there are links or attachments that you are asked to click on. Today this is the most common way that malware/malicious code risks being installed on your computer, tablet or smartphone – which can then obtain access to your passwords and bank card information. These messages often appear to come from legitimate parties, such as the Swedish postal service, a bank or the Swedish Tax Agency, but in reality are scams. The method is called phishing (sent by e-mail) or smishing (sent by SMS).

The message sent by the scammer will often contain some form of urgent message about a refund of money, problems with some service, or that you need to verify your personal data or customer information, or even to a reset a password.

Always assess the plausibility of what is stated in the message and its lan-guage, and never click on links or attachments from unknown or unex-pected senders. The website of a legitimate party will usually have warn-ings that others are acting using their name and using their trademark without authorisation.

E-mails are often used to request that a password be reset for other ser-vices, something particularly useful for scammers.

Tips for protecting yourself against phishing and malware/malicious code

Before you click on a link or an attachment, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this unexpected that I am receiving an e-mail from this ostensible party/sender at this time?
  • Have I been urged to act very quickly, told it is very urgent, been of-fered a limited time offer? Does it sound too good to be true?
  • Does something about the language, the tone of text, the individual word choices deviate from how the 
  • sender usually writes or are there spelling mistakes that shouldn’t be there?
  • Am I being asked to provide my password, bank/card information or bank account number?
  • Does something about the attachment or link look strange or unu-sual? Does it ostensibly appear to be from a particular legitimate company, but there are clues that it is not? 

If your answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” you really should verify via other channels that the “sender” on the e-mail is actually who it is from. Contact them and ascertain if they have really sought to contact you.

Learn more at MSB about how to protect yourself from phishing. mal-ware and other malicious code (in Swedish)

Install security updates

Software often has bugs (errors) that can be exploited by those looking to destroy or access information, or to spy on the device where the software is installed.

The manufacturer of your computer, tablet, mobile phone, software, or app therefore recommends continually updating your devices and software. This helps you keep up to date and protected. Make sure that your devices are set to allow automatic updates.

As all pieces of software entail certain risks, it is best if you only install software that is absolutely necessary for your business.

Pirated software is not reliable as it often contains harmful code, put there to destroy or access your information.

Tips for installing security updates

  • Only install software that is absolutely necessary for your business.
  • Install software from reliable developers on your computer, and never install pirated software.
  • Continually update your devices with the latest security updates, preferably on the same day that they are released.
  • Always accept automatic updates from the developer.
  • Make sure that automatic updates are enabled.
  • Only install apps from reliable official marketplaces such as the Play Store and AppStore.

Protect your computer from malware

Malicious code includes computer viruses and is normally installed in your computer, tablet, or phone. The code is often installed without you knowing it, by tricking you to run a programme, click a link, or approve a warning message. The code is used to, for example, send out spam e-mails, delete files, or destroy information.

If your computer or mobile phone has been infected by malicious code, you may not be able to delete the malicious files without a fundamental reinstallation of your computer or a factory reset of your tablet or mobile phone.

“Ransomware” encrypts files and makes them unusable. To get the information back, the person behind the code demands that you pay a ransom within a given time period in order to get a key for the encrypted files. There is no guarantee that you will receive the key even if you pay. This means you will have to reinstall your computer from the ground up. Documents and files will be lost unless you have a backup. Keep in mind that all information will be lost unless you have an uninfected backup.

Help getting your encrypted data back

If you are the victim of ransomware, you can visit nomoreransom.org to get help with recovering your encrypted data. The website is operated by Europol as well as police authorities from all European countries.

Read more about how to get help with malicious code at nomoreran-som.org

Protect yourself against viruses

Your computer, tablet, or mobile’s built-in security functions provide basic protection, but this is not enough. You should also install antivirus software on your various devices.

Antivirus tips

  • Never click links from unknown or unexpected senders in e-mails or chat apps.
  • Do not open attached files from unknown or unexpected senders in e-mails or chat apps.
  • Install antivirus software on your devices.
  • Do not use pirated software.
  • Always accept updates from the manufacturer of your computer or mobile phone.
  • Make sure that automatic updates are enabled.
  • Do not pay if you are the victim of ransomware.
  • Make sure that you always have backups of your files on another computer, external storage, or in the cloud.

If you are the victim of ransomware

Always file a police report. Do not pay the ransom. Perform a total reinstallation of your computer and transfer the files you need from your latest backup.

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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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