News & Views

Our Top Tips on Staying Secure Against Cybercrime

New laws enforce minimum-security standards for smart devices to protect consumers from cyberattacks.

At Wells Gibson, we recognise the critical importance of safeguarding your data and protecting against cyber threats in today’s increasingly digital world. As technology continues to advance, so do the risks associated with cybercrime, making it imperative for individuals and businesses alike to prioritise cybersecurity measures.

New legislation aimed at protecting consumers from cyberattacks and hacking has come into force, requiring all smart devices to meet minimum security standards.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has announced that manufacturers of devices like phones, TVs, and smart doorbells are now legally obligated to safeguard internet-connected products from cybercriminal access.

Weak default passwords, such as “admin” or “12345,” will be banned, and users will be prompted to replace common passwords.

Manufacturers must also provide contact information so that security vulnerabilities and issues can be reported and be transparent about the timing of security updates. This transparency is intended to bolster consumer confidence when purchasing and using smart devices.

The new regulations come as part of the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) regime, which aims to strengthen the UK’s resilience against cybercrime. The measures are designed to ensure the security of consumer products and enhance online safety across the nation.

Science and Technology Minister Viscount Camrose stated, “As everyday life becomes increasingly dependent on connected devices, the threats generated by the internet multiply and become even greater. From today, consumers will have greater peace of mind that their smart devices are protected from cyber criminals, as we introduce world first laws that will make sure their personal privacy, data, and finances are safe. We are committed to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online, and these new regulations mark a significant leap towards a more secure digital world.”

By enforcing these measures, the UK is taking a proactive stance against the evolving threats posed by cyberattacks, ensuring that consumers can safely use smart devices without compromising their privacy, data, or finances.

This initiative represents a significant step towards creating a more secure digital world for all.

We urge you to take cybercrime seriously and ensure that your personal and financial information remains secure. Whether you’re using smart devices at home or managing investments online, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and implement robust cybersecurity practices.

Here are some top tips to ensure you are safe from cybercrime:


  1. Use Strong, Unique Passwords: Create complex passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or pet names. Consider using a reputable password manager to generate and store your passwords securely.


  1. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Whenever possible, enable two-factor authentication for your online accounts. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password.


  1. Keep Software Updated: Regularly update the software and operating systems on all your devices, including smartphones, computers, and smart home devices. Software updates often contain patches for security vulnerabilities that cybercriminals may exploit.


  1. Be Cautious of Phishing Attempts: Be wary of unsolicited emails, texts, or phone calls asking for personal or financial information. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown or suspicious sources. Verify the legitimacy of requests by contacting the organisation directly through official channels.


  1. Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks: Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive activities like online banking or shopping. If you must use public Wi-Fi, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection and protect your data.


  1. Secure Your Smart Devices: Change default passwords on smart devices and ensure they are up-to-date with the latest security patches. Disable unnecessary features and review privacy settings to limit the amount of data collected and shared by these devices.


  1. Monitor Your Accounts Regularly: Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorised transactions. Report any suspicious activity to your financial institution immediately.


  1. Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest cyber threats and security best practices. Take advantage of resources provided by reputable sources, such as government agencies, cybersecurity organisations, and financial institutions.

By following these tips and remaining vigilant online, you can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to cybercrime and protect their personal and financial information.