How to be more Cyber Secure: 4 tips for staying safe online

Four tips from cybersecurity experts

Do you want to make sure you are more cyber secure? Staying safe online and protecting yourself from cybercrime is increasingly important. In this article, we’ll give you a quick introduction to cyber security and tips to help you stay cyber secure. Docusign and award-winning documentarian Louis Theroux recently hosted a webinar with world-class speakers on staying ahead in cyber-security, including former ‘Anonymous’ hacker Lauri Love, hacker, entrepreneur and former CTO of the 2012 Obama campaign, Harper Reed and Docusign’s CISO Jessica Ferguson. Read on to discover some of their tips for staying cyber secure.

What is cyber security?

Cybersecurity is all the ways you can protect yourself, your organisation and your data online from cybercrime and cyber attacks. It’s important to protect your data and all the personal information and devices we use. The National Cyber Security Centre say it’s the means by which individuals and organisations reduce the risk of being affected by cybercrime. 

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Why is cyber security important?

People are spending more and more time online at work and at home. From time to time, when you are spending time online, you can be at risk of cyber attacks. Your data could be taken or one of your accounts hacked. Criminals can steal personal details like usernames and passwords. It’s vital to protect yourself online with cyber security. 

Four tips for staying safe online

  1. Use organisations and vendors you can trust

In the Docusign webinar with Harper Reed; he warns that organisations should be careful when building products that we’re not accidentally creating opportunities for data to be exposed.  “We should be very thoughtful that when we are building things, we are not accidentally creating opportunities for data to be weaponised in ways we didn’t expect. There are so many devices you can buy that are insecure by default because maybe companies went out of business when they were building it, and they are still for sale. I hope that organisations start to build better practices internally. We have to build a process that is going to last. I think it’s super important for all organisations to think about how are we building things that last”.  

This highlights how important it is to use organisations you can trust. Putting your trust in an organisation sometimes requires a leap of faith, but there are certain things you can look out for when you are online. As a consumer, you should look for organisations that do their best to protect and secure your data. Ensure the organisations you use meet or exceed the highest international security standards and comply with global privacy regulations. For example, look for organisations with a Cyber Essentials certificate and if they have adequate security policies. Do they have data governance and compliance certification such as ISO certification, SOC 1:Type 2, and SOC 2:Type 2? For example, Docusign’s advanced platform architecture and security operations are designed to maximise security for data, and the platform undergoes stringent security reviews.

  1. Look for reassurance with a secure identity

Reputable organisations have sophisticated security systems. Former ‘Anonymous’ hacker Lauri Love says, “Security is an aspect of predictability. Cybersecurity is predicated on expectations that have been continuously tested. Such as in terms of the simple nature of identity. Before,you had a passport or driving licence, and now there is a complex nature of identity where we are hoping to maintain some persistent identity services that can have varying degrees of security and support. There are many aspects of security, but they have in common: being able to work towards a reasonable assurance that something will go in a way that can be predicted.” Many organisations are Docusign customers and use Docusign ID Verification to ensure that they securely verify an online signer's identity. Docusign Identify allows the signer to submit their driver's licence, passport, or electronic ID to prove who they are, from wherever they are, using their preferred device— saving time and helping improve efficiency. Only valid identity documents are accepted. 

  1. Digital Hygiene

Harper Reed offers his advice on staying safe online. He says, “I think people stay safe by being relatively cautious and following best practices online. Things like strong passwords, two-factor authentication etc. My advice to a regular person is to practise some safety on the internet.”

There are many fundamentals of digital hygiene that can help you protect yourself online. These include:

  • Turning on 2-step verification - protect your accounts such as banking, payment apps, emails, social media accounts, and shopping apps by turning on two-factor authentication. It verifies you with an extra layer of protection over a username and password, such as a one-time passcode sent to a mobile phone.
  • Install the latest software and app security updates - make sure you always install or apply the latest updates on your devices and software as soon as they become available.
  • Use three random words to create secure passwords. The National Cyber Security Centre recommends using three random words as the best way to stay safe.
  1. Think Before you Click - Learn about Phishing Scams

Phishing is a technique used by attackers to trick individuals into divulging personal information. Scammers often mimic legitimate companies and learning how to recognise fraudulent emails is the best way to protect yourself and your data. Look for misspellings, poor grammar, generic greetings, and a false sense of urgency and/or demand. It’s best if you don’t open unknown or suspicious attachments or click on unknown links. The aim of a phishing attack is often to gain access to your data, including email credentials. The tendency of most people to reuse usernames and passwords across websites makes it easier for attackers to steal valuable information and exploit it. Find out more about avoiding phishing scams.

Docusign make every effort to ensure your experience online is safe and secure - and to ensure you have the information you need to feel comfortable transacting online. That’s why we created the Trust Centre: so you have access to the latest Docusign security, compliance, legal, privacy, and system performance information, when and where you need it. Find out more about trust and Docusign.

Watch the event on-demand: Cyber Risks - How to Stay a Step Ahead

Hear from Louis Theroux, Lauri Love, Harper Reed and Docusign’s CISO Jessica Ferguson.
Daisy O'Malley Glynn
Marketing Communications Specialist