Protect yourself with a Tech Free 15 minutes

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We would all agree that technology helps to make our busy lives that little bit easier. Tech allows us to tackle our work or personal to-do list on the move and it provides an increasing level of connectivity between colleagues and friends. All well and good, but when was the last time you took 15 minutes away from your devices?

Taking a tech ‘time out’ has its benefits. In the workplace it means we can better interact with colleagues – discussing ideas for a new project or encouraging team-building exercises. Why not take the time to sit down to lunch together, or go outside for some fresh air? At home, we can take time for ourselves to focus on something else we enjoy – playing an instrument or taking the dog for a walk. Taking a break from our devices means we can use that time to install the latest software and app updates. Allocating some tech-free time to do this can help to protect you from the threats posed by cyber criminals and hackers, who are always waiting for an opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities in people’s devices.

We all know we should update our devices when prompted but many of us delay. In fact, on average only 52% regularly download the latest software or app updates as soon as they are available[i]. Yet, these updates include important security enhancements. Let’s not forget our personal devices hold a lot of information about us and falling victim to a cyber attack might result in financial loss and damage to your reputation. The time it would take to recover from a breach would also be lost, and that takes far longer than it takes to bolster online security by installing the latest software and app updates.

As a partner of the Cyber Aware campaign we are encouraging all our customers to take a tech-free 15 minutes to not only install the latest software and app updates to your devices, but to use that time away to be productive, creative and mindful in other ways. Protecting yourself online can be combined with protecting your health and wellbeing offline with time away from your tech. We would love to hear how you used this time so, when back online, why not use social media to let us know how you used your #techfree15? Hopefully we can encourage others to take tech-free time to do something positive for themselves, too.

It’s important that employees take responsibility to be more cyber aware as well. Taking a Tech Free 15 minutes to install the latest software and app updates to your devices is just one way you can do this. The government-led campaign, Cyber Aware, encourages small, actionable steps (based on the technical advice of the National Cyber Security Centre) – from installing the latest software and app updates to having a strong and separate password for your email account – that are simple to follow, but can really keep you more secure online.

To find out more about being Cyber Aware visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk

[i] Cyber Aware online study was conducted with members of Ipsos MORI’s online panel in 2016

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