Security tips

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The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips
Updated: 1 hour 16 min ago

What is Malware

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 08:00
Malware is software--a computer program--used to perform malicious actions. In fact, the term malware is a combination of the words malicious and software. Cyber criminals install malware on your computers or devices to gain control over them or gain access to what they contain. Once installed, these attackers can use malware to spy on your online activities, steal your passwords and files, or use your system to attack others.

Smart Home Devices

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 08:00
Now adays most of us have numerous devices in our homes connect to the Internet. From thermostats and gaming consoles to baby monitors, door locks or even your car. Ensure you change the default passwords on these devices and enable automatic updating.

Kids and Education

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 08:00
One of the most effective methods you can use to protect kids online is to talk to them. The younger you start talking to them, and they to you, the better. Hold regular conversations about online safety issues, even going so far as to show them actual negative events that have taken place. If you don't know what your kids are doing, simply ask. Play the clueless parent and ask them to show you what the latest technologies are and how they use them. Quite often, kids love the idea of being the teacher and will open up.

Email and Emotions

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 08:00
Never send an email when you are angry; you will most likely regret it later. Instead, when you are emotional and want to reply to someone, open up an email and write everything you feel, but do not send it. (Be sure there is no name in the TO field so that you do not accidently send it.) After you have vented, save the email and come back an hour later. You only want to reply to any type of emotional situation after you have had time to cool down.

Got Backups?

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 08:00
Eventually, we all have an accident or get hacked. And when we do, backups are often the only way to recover. Backups are cheap and easy; make sure you are backing up all of your personal information at home (such as family photos) on a regular basis.

Plugins

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 08:00
Every plugin or add-on you install in your browser can expose you to more danger. Only install the plugins you need and make sure they are always current. If you no longer need a plugin, disable or remove it from your browser via your browser's plugin preferences.

Scamming You Through Social Media

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 08:00
You may be aware that cyber attacks will try to trick you over the phone or through email using phishing attacks, but do you realize they may try to attack you also over Social Media, such as through Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? Just like in email, if you get any Social Media messages that are highly urgent or too good to be true, it may be an attack.

Ransomware

Mon, 12/30/2019 - 08:00
Ransomware is a special type of malware. Once it infected your computer, it encrypts all of your files and demands you pay a ransome if you want your files back. Be suspicious of any emails trying to trick you into opening infected attachments or click on malicious links, common sense is your best defense. In addition. backups are often the only way you can recover from ransomware.

Phone Call Attacks

Fri, 12/27/2019 - 08:00
More and more scams and attacks are happening over the phone. Whenever you get an urgent phone call on the phone pressuring you to do something (such as a caller pretending to be the tax department or Microsoft Tech Support) be very suspicious. It's most likely a scammer trying to trick you out of money or pressure you into making a mistake. Protect yourself, simply hang up the phone. You are not being rude, the person on the other line is trying to take advantage of you.

Unique Passwords

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 08:00
Make sure each of your accounts has a separate, unique password. Can't remember all of your passwords/passphrases? Consider using a password manager to securely store all of them for you.

You Are a Target

Mon, 12/23/2019 - 08:00
You may not realize it, but you are a target. Your computer, your work and personal accounts and your information are all highly valuable to cyber criminals. Be mindful that bad guys are out to get you.

Patch and Update

Wed, 12/18/2019 - 08:00
One of the most effective ways you can protect your computer at home is to make sure both the operating system and your applications are patched and updated. Enable automatic updating whenever possible.

Don't Login on Untrusted Computers

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 08:00
A password is only as secure as the computer or network it is used on. As such, never log in to a sensitive account from a public computer, such as computers in a cyber cafe, hotel lobby or conference hall. Bad guys target public computers such as these and infect them on purpose. The moment you type your password on an infected computer, these cyber criminals can harvest your passwords.

Shopping Online Securely

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 08:00
When shopping online, always use your credit cards instead of a debit card. If any fraud happens, it is far easier to recover your money from a credit card transaction. Gift cards and one-time-use credit card numbers are even more secure.

Never Share Your Passwords

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 08:00
Never share your passwords with others, including your supervisor or coworkers. Your password is a secret; it only works if only you know it. If anyone else knows your password, you may be responsible for their actions.

Virtual Private Networks

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 08:00
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) create encrypted tunnels when you connect to the Internet. They are a fantastic way to protect your privacy and data, especially when traveling and connecting to untrusted or unknown networks, such as at hotels or coffee shops. Use a VPN whenever possible, both for work and personal use.

Use Caution Opening Email Attachments

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 08:00
A common method cyber criminals use to hack into people's computers is to send them emails with infected attachments. People are tricked into opening these attachments because they appear to come from someone or something they know and trust. Only open email attachments that you were expecting. Not sure about an email? Call the person to confirm they sent it.

Dark Web

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 08:00
The Dark Web is a network of systems connected to the Internet designed to share information securely and anonymously. These capabilities are abused by cyber criminals to enable their activities, for example selling hacking tools or purchasing stolen information such as credit card data. Be aware that your information could be floating around the Dark Web, making it easier for cyber criminals to create custom attacks targeting you..

Securely Disposing Mobile Devices

Tue, 10/29/2019 - 08:00
Do you plan on giving away or selling one of your older mobile devices? Make sure you wipe or reset your device before disposing of it. If you don't, the next person who owns it will have access to all of your accounts and personal information.

Personalized Scams

Tue, 10/22/2019 - 08:00
Cyber criminals now have a wealth of information on almost all of us. With so many hacked organizations now a days, cyber criminals simply purchase databases with personal information on millions of people, then use that information to customize their attacks, making them far more realistic. Just because an urgent email has your home address, phone number or birth date in it does not mean it is legitimate.

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