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 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.

Manage your e-mail correctly

Be cautious with messages in e-mails or chat apps which include links and attachments that you are asked to click. This is a common way of installing malicious code on your computer, tablet, or phone. These messages often seem to come from serious actors such as the postal service, bank, or the Swedish Tax Agency, but are of a fraudulent nature. Assess how reasonable the contents seem.

E-mail accounts are often used to restore passwords for other services, which makes them especially interesting for scammers.

  • Only visit websites that you need to visit on behalf of the company.
  • When buying things online, find out more about the company before making a purchase.
  • Be cautious about messages from unknown senders or messages with suspicious contents from what appears to be a known sender.
  • Do not give out personal information without being sure of the recipient’s intentions.
  • Never give out your codes or passwords to others.

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.

Did you find this information helpful?

Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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