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Getting the Basics Right

Around 80% of cybercrime can be prevented by simply getting the basics right. Every person and business in Scotland will benefit from:

Strong passwords

Using three random words is the key to creating a strong password e.g. SeeCatEek

Downloading software updates

Software updates contain vital security upgrades which help protect your device from viruses and hackers. You will be asked to install them – always click yes! 

Installing software security

Anti-virus software removes viruses, quarantines and repairs infected files, and can help prevent future viruses.  Remember to use antivirus on your mobile devices too.

Be aware of suspicious emails

Delete suspicious emails as they may contain fraudulent requests for information or links to viruses. If you are being pressured to make a quick decision or to give any personal or financial information DELETE THE EMAIL immediately.

Protect and secure mobile devices

Secure your portable devices and the information they contain. Establish a password and enable screen lock or auto lock on all devices and install an antivirus app.

Secure wireless networks

Secure your home or office wireless networks and think carefully before sharing  private details on public wifi.


Firewalls act as protective barriers between computers and the internet.  Check your security settings for a built-in personal firewall. If you have one, turn it on.


Businesses in Scotland will further benefit from:

Staff training

Most data breaches are due to human error. Make your staff aware of cyber security threats and how to deal with them.


Ensure that only those who should have access to systems to have access and at the appropriate level e.g. Remove ‘admin access’ from those that don’t need it. Don’t forget to remove access rights from staff who have left the organisation.


Information on how to get the basics right:

Cyber Streetwise

Get Safe Online


Guidance and tools on cyber security for business:

Cyber Essentials Scheme

10 Steps to Cyber Security

Small Businesses: What you need to know about cyber security

Scottish Business Resilience Centre