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Luton business partners with police to share five simple tricks to help you stay safe online

In collaboration with the Bedfordshire Police’s Cyber Protect Team, FirstPort retirement residents and colleagues were invited to an online seminar revealing the top tips for staying safe online and preventing fraud and cyber attacks.

The force supports the region’s Cyber Resilience Centre, which is a UK initiative to help businesses build their resilience to cyberattacks.

FirstPort – the UK’s largest property management company – is headquartered at Marlborough House, Wigmore Place in Luton, Bedfordshire. It manages 57 developments in the Bedfordshire area, 10 of which are specifically built for retired people looking to live independently.

The seminar was aimed at retired customers as they are thought to be a group more vulnerable to cybercrime, although the invite was open to all FirstPort residents and colleagues.

The aim of the session was to raise awareness to all kinds of online fraud and cybercrime, and it identified simple changes you can make to prevent data breaches.

The top online safety tips were:

  1. Set your social media account to private to prevent hackers from accessing important information such as your age, school, or employer.
  2. Don’t use common passwords that are short, use personal information, or replace letters with numbers. Passwords should include two to three random phrases and use a mixture of numbers and special characters.
  3. Use two-factor authentication – it may sound complicated but enabling two-factor authentication on top of your password will help to make your account secure. It often involves entering a four-to-six-digit pin after typing in your password. You may be emailed this or sent it in a text.
  4. Antivirus software – it is important to make sure you are up to date with your software. If not, it may increase your vulnerability online.
  5. Back up your data – in the event of a cyberattack, it’s important that your data is saved somewhere safe. If you haven’t done so already, it’s recommended that you back up your important data.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), people are more likely to be a victim of fraud or cybercrime than any other crime.

Liam O’Reilly, FirstPort’s Head of Information Security, said:

“Our priority as a business is to not only make our systems the safest they can be, but also to educate staff and customers about the best way to keep their personal data safe.  

Holding events such as this webinar is a great opportunity to help our residents and show that we take cyber security seriously.

“We think it’s really important to keep sharing this advice. While you may now know the best methods for keeping your personal information secure, there might be somebody out there who could really benefit from this. You never know, it could make a real difference.”