10 Internet Security Tips for Freight Forwarders
On Safer Internet Day, a study conducted by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) reveals how the topic of Internet security has not reached everyone yet. According to the study, just one in three Internet users are informed about Internet security. It goes without saying that PCs and Internet access are a requirement for a functioning business and for driving sales in freight forwarding companies. This makes it even clearer why transport companies should pay attention not only to truck security but also to PC security. Thus, the following security tips will help freight forwarders to be well prepared when it comes to working online.
- Check the Internet address thoroughly before you enter passwords or log in to your online banking account. You should know that anyone can buy and secure their websites with SSL certificates. However, if the Internet addresses and pages look similar, the preceding https:// cannot protect you anymore from damage.
- Download programs or applications online only if necessary. Some of the existent online service providers within the transport sector still oblige their customers to download .exe files before they can even use their services. Unfortunately, this method is outdated and can possess a potential security risk to your software. Also, web pages making you download a program or file before loading the actual page can often spread malware.
- Use a separate password for each website and/or service. If, for example, hackers enter a mail provider’s database with the intention to access or steal data and passwords, using different passwords will protect data and prevent it from being misused multiple times.
- Use a password manager if you want to remember only one password. Passwords that are long and complicated are obviously more secure than for instance, your own name. The only problem with this method is that complicated passwords are often difficult to remember. In this case, password manager tools can help you generate secure passwords and store them in encrypted forms.
- Only access Internet pages with the prefix “https://” if you find yourself in a public space. WLAN hotspots made available in public spaces can be often useful but are not secure. This is because other computers in the same network can read search queries, passwords or login data. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and is a tap-proof protocol that transfers encrypted data between the browser and server in both directions. When it comes to public networks, best is to avoid sending and receiving e-mails or logging in to your online banking account.
- Don’t enter your private data by e-mail – a reputable company will never ask you to do that. Experts call information taping with the help of fake e-mails “phishing”. These type of e-mails look very similar to the original ones. Links contained within those e-mails should never be clicked or accessed under any circumstances. They often lead to websites infected with viruses (malware).
- Don’t pay ransom if you are blackmailed by a so-called “ransomware”. Ransomware is the term used to describe a malicious software that steals data to blackmail the affected user. The malware encrypts important documents on your computer. As a result, ransom is demanded to unlock the encrypted files. However, this is unlikely to happen, even if the hacker has been paid. It is therefore recommended to back up your data regularly, for example by using external hard disks or DVDs.
- After a virus attack, the operating system should be reinstalled from a CD or DVD. If a computer has been infected by a virus, it can no longer be trusted. Even if the virus was supposedly fought or removed, you will only be on the safe side if you reinstall the operating system.
- Only trust USB sticks bought by you. Foreign USB sticks or smartphones could be manipulated into accessing and controlling your computer data. If you use a USB for charging purposes, a “quick charging cable” is better, as it does not allow data transfer.
- Last but not least: Increase the security on your smartphone. Complicated pattern locks and regular cleaning of smartphones can prevent strangers from unlocking your device. Every display touch can leave smudges. This allows you to see an unlock pattern or even a PIN made up of digits. Cleaning your smartphone regularly will clear your fingerprints. Patterns that cross themselves and contain many dots can also offer additional security to your device.
Background Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day is an action day on Internet safety coordinated by the European Commission. All Safer Internet Day activities and events in Germany are coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) and the Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien e. V. (Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media) (Bitkom). Since 2008, Safer Internet Day has taken place annually on the second day of the second week of the second month.
Daniel Mahnken is a Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Saloodo!. As a qualified journalist, writing is practically in his blood. After studying sports journalism, he wanted to become Germany's Next Sports Commentator, but then he discovered logistics and has been stuck with it ever since.
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