You don’t need a University degree to look at online security as common sense and quite simple in reality. Obviously the so called ‘experts’ out there, I call them ‘know it alls’ don’t want you to work out how simple it is because then they would have to find something else to make complicated!

I am talking about the simple, and often obvious online security issues that we often fail to recognize because we can’t be bothered to notice what’s obviously in front of our eyes. Also when we did receive simple tips about this topic we failed to read the information, because it’s not going to happen to us, or we just don’t have the time.

One example would be receiving an email from an unknown source, i.e. you don’t know the person sending you the email. You fail to read the email in its entirety and assume it’s OK to click on the link you have been asked to click on by the sender of the email. Often as not the link might be ‘harmless’ in the sense the sender just wants to add you to their spam list to sell to others. But, if you are being asked to click on a link that may share your password, and/or ┬ábank details as an example, then it’s not OK to click and not read the entire email.

It’s common sense really. Look at this as if you were in your home and someone rang your doorbell and you opened your front door. Think of your front door as your computer and the person ringing the door bell has sent you an email. You have a choice, do you let the person who is a stranger into your home when he tells you he is here to look around your home on behalf of the insurance company, in order to ensure your home and contents are properly insured?

The sensible thing to do would be to ask the stranger at your front door for identification and if unsure, ask the person to wait a moment, close your front door and make a quick phone call to your insurance company to confirm the identity of the person who wants to wander around your home.

The majority of people online today are busy, yes I get that, so am I. But that is not an excuse to sign off on a $500,000 invoice just because the email from an unknown name says that they are ‘new to your organization’ works in the finance department, and the invoice has to be paid today! Two people should, ideally, be involved when this occurs, especially if the money involved is in the thousands. Once again checking the information given with a quick phone call to the finance department would be a great idea, versus signing off on an invoice and giving money away to an unknown entity.

Common sense appears to go out of the window when people are using email, social media platforms, and suchlike. But why is this? People are busy, people are complacent, people are not educated, but when given the choice they don’t really want to take the time to identify the risks involved online.

Most of the online challenges I have shared today are simple and easy to recognize if we just take the time. Yes, we can leave the more complicated stuff to the ‘professionals’ and I know they do a great job.