Did it work out?
Did you defuse the bomb? Congratulations! Or did it just not work out? Better next time, today's goal was to make you aware of the dangers of cybercrime. That is why we provide 10 more tips below:
Tip 1: You are a target to hackers
Don't ever say "It won't happen to me". We are all at risk and the stakes are high to your personal and financial well-being, and to the company standing and reputation.
Tip 2: Keep software up to date
Installing software updates for your operating system and programs is critical. Always install the latest security updates for your devices:
- Turn on Automatic Updates for your operating system.
- Use web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox that receive frequent, automatic security updates.
- Make sure to keep browser plug-ins (Flash, Java, etc.) up to date.
Tip 3: Avoid Phishing scams - beware of suspicious emails and phone calls
Phishing scams are a constant threat - using various social engineering (link is external) ploys, cyber-criminals will attempt to trick you into divulging personal information such as your login ID and password, banking or credit card information. Phishing scams can be carried out by phone, text, or through social networking sites - but most commonly by email. Be suspicious of any official-looking email message or phone call that asks for personal or financial information.
Tip 4: Practice good password management
We all have too many passwords to manage - and it's easy to take short-cuts, like reusing the same password. A password management program can help you to maintain strong unique passwords for all of your accounts. These programs can generate strong passwords for you, enter credentials automatically, and remind you to update your passwords periodically. Here are some general password tips to keep in mind:
- Use long passwords - 20 characters or more is recommended.
- Use a strong mix of characters, and never use the same password for multiple sites.
- Don't share your passwords and don't write them down (especially not on a post-it note attached to your monitor).
- Update your passwords periodically, at least once every 6 months (90 days is better).
Tip 5: Be careful what you click
Avoid visiting unknown websites or downloading software from untrusted sources. These sites often host malware that will automatically, and often silently, compromise your computer. If attachments or links in the email are unexpected or suspicious for any reason, don't click on it.
Tip 6: Never leave devices unattended
The physical security of your devices is just as important as their technical security. If you need to leave your laptop, phone, or tablet for any length of time - lock it up so no one else can use it. If you keep sensitive information on a flash drive or external hard drive, make sure to keep these locked as well. For desktop computers, shut-down the system when not in use - or lock your screen.
Tip 7: Protect sensitive data
Be aware of sensitive data that you come into contact with, and associated. In general:
- Keep sensitive data (credit card information, bankaccountnumber, health information, etc.) off of your workstation, laptop, or mobile devices.
- Securely remove sensitive data files from your system when they are no longer needed.
- Always use encryption when storing or transmitting sensitive data.
Tip 8: Use mobile devices safely
Considering how much we rely on our mobile devices, and how susceptible they are to attack, you'll want to make sure you are protected:
- Lock your device with a PIN or password - and never leave it unprotected in public.
- Only install apps from trusted sources.
- Keep your device's operating system updated.
- Don't click on links or attachments from unsolicited emails or texts.
- Avoid transmitting or storing personal information on the device.
- Most handheld devices are capable of employing data encryption - consult your device's documentation for available options.
- Backup your data.
Tip 9: Install anti-virus protection
Only install an anti-virus program from a known and trusted source. Keep virus definitions, engines and software up to date to ensure your anti-virus program remains effective.
Tip 10: Back up your data
Back up regularly - if you are a victim of a security incident, the only guaranteed way to repair your computer is to erase and re-install the system. Here are some additional tips to help keep you safe and secure online:
- Use a firewall - Mac and Windows have basic desktop firewalls as part of their operating system that can help protect your computer from external attacks.
- Use public wireless hot-spots wisely - follow these tips (link is external) for staying safe.
- Be conscientious of what you plug into your computer (flash drives and even smartphones can contain malware).
- Be careful of what you share on social networking sites.
- Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity.
- Bank or shop online only on trusted devices and networks - and logout of these sites when you've completed your transactions.
It happens to everyone, people are the weakest link and hackers like to respond to this. Talk to each other if you think you are reading, seeing or hearing something suspicious. After all, it can happen to anyone.
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