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Top Five Tips to Protect Your Data

1. Keep it 'Techkie' - The first lines of defence for your data are the technical controls of your system, including firewalls, anti-virus software, user authentication and updating patches. As cyber crime becomes more sophisticated, it is the company's responsibility to stay on top of the best tech practices and software to protect yourself and the business. At MVF, we have a full time IT department who continually optimise our technical defences, and are now working with our legal and compliance team on developing our latest cyber security campaign.

2. Set a good password - Having a password with upper case letters, numbers and special characters may seem tedious but it is the best defence against keeping your account and information safe. Different passwords for different logins makes any data breach that might occur far more manageable and establishes safe guards across your devices’ programs. When choosing a password, avoid common mistakes like birthdays, names of family or known addresses. An ideal password or should I say ‘passphrase’ should be at least twelve characters, includes numbers, symbols and capital letters and is a complex grouping of words.

3. Day to day security - Good physical workplace practices are essential in keeping data and devices safe. At MVF each employee has a work lanyard that gives them access to the building. By wearing these when moving around the office it becomes much easier to identify anyone who might be a danger to MVFers and our data. To best protect devices, files and any sensitive issues it is best to operate a clear desk policy. This means that you ensure everything is secure and put away safely when leaving your desk to best protect yourself and your company. Finally, a strong line of defence for your office is employing security guards where needed to protect against any other potential physical threats, in and out of office hours.

4. Awareness campaigns - Basing cyber security on real life scenarios and keeping the topic relatable allows for cyber security to become a seamless part of a company’s everyday practices. MVF has launched its latest cyber security campaign with specialised speakers, posters, prizes and training to not make these important practices seem like a chore. Our Cyber Security training is mandatory for every MVFer and refreshed annually so we can give everyone at MVF the tools to protect themselves and the company.

5. No blame culture - Cyber crime can happen to anyone, and the reason procedures are in place is to help report and react appropriately to any data breaches. Having a ‘no blame’ culture encourages employees to report breaches rather than hide them, which means our incident management process can be initiated promptly and incidents can be ring-fenced before they spread out of control.

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