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.
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.
Companies you do business with should never ask for your account information, credit card numbers or password in an email. If you have any questions about an email you receive that supposedly came from your financial institution or service provider, find their number on their website and call them.
Only install mobile apps from trusted places, and always double-check the privacy settings to ensure you are not giving away too much information.
When traveling, it is very easy to forget where you are when discussing business with colleagues. That airport, taxi, restaurant or hotel lobby may have individuals nearby eavesdropping on your conversation. When discussing confidential information, agree to hold off on the conversation until you can be assured of privacy. Also, be careful not to share sensitive information with strangers you meet.
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.
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.
Turn off Bluetooth if you are not using it on your computer or device. Not only does this make it more secure, but it also saves battery life.
Two-step verification is one of the best steps you can take to secure any account. Two-step verification is when you require both a password and code sent to or generated by your mobile device. Examples of services that support two-step verification include Gmail, Dropbox and Twitter.
CEO Fraud is a type of targeted attack. It commonly involves a cyber criminally pretending to be your boss, then tricking or fooling you into sending the criminal highly sensitive information or initiating a wire transfer. Be highly suspicious of any emails demanding immediate action and/or asking you to bypass any security procedures.
When you forward an email to others or copy new people to an email thread, review all the content in the entire email and make sure the information contained in it is suitable for everyone. It is very easy to forward emails to others, not realizing there is highly sensitive information in the bottom of the email that people should not have access to.
Review your bank, credit card and financial statements regularly to identify unauthorized activity. This is one of the most effective ways to quickly detect if your bank account, credit card or identity has been compromised.
When browsing online, encrypting your online activities is one of the best ways to protect yourself. Make sure your online connection is encrypted by making sure HTTPS is in the website address and/or that there is a lock next to it.
One of the most effective steps you can take to protect your cloud account is to make sure you are using two-step verification. In addition, always be sure you know exactly whom you are sharing files with. It is very easy to accidently share your files with the entire Internet when you think you are only sharing them with specific individuals.
When you delete a file, that file is actually still on your computer. The only way you can truly and securely remove a file is by wiping it or using some type of secure deletion.
Be aware of all the devices connected to your home network, including baby monitors, gaming consoles, TVs, appliances or even your car. Ensure all those devices are protected by a strong password and/or are running the latest version of their operating system.
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.
If you have kids with mobile devices, create a central home charging station in your bedroom. Before the kids go to bed at night, have them put their mobile devices there so they are not tempted to play with them when they should be sleeping.
Ultimately, common sense is your best protection. If an email, phone call or online message seems odd, suspicious or too good to be true, it may be an attack.
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.