The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips
Updated: 27 min 36 sec ago
If you have children visiting or staying with family members (such as grandparents), make sure the family members know your rules concerning technology that your kids must follow. Just because your kids leave the house does not mean the rules about what they can do online change.
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.
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.
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. If you have no choice but to use a public computer, change your password at the next available opportunity you have access to a trusted computer.
Only install mobile apps from trusted places, and always double-check the privacy settings to ensure you are not giving away too much information.
Never give your password to someone over the phone. If someone calls you and asks for your password while saying they are from the Help Desk or Tech Support team, it is an attacker attempting to gain access to your account.
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.
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.
Bad guys are targeting your social media accounts. One of the most effective ways you can protect them is with a unique, strong password called a passphrase. Enabling two-step verification (if your social media site offers it) is even better.
The number one step for protecting your mobile device is making sure it has a strong passcode or password lock on it so only you can access it.
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.
Eventually, we all get hacked. The bad guys are very persistent and we can all make a mistake. If a phone call from the "Help Desk" doesn't sound quite right, if an email seems suspicious or if a program you installed starts acting funny, ask for help! Your security team is there to help you. The sooner you report an incident, the sooner we can help resolve the problem.
A common method cyber criminals use to hack into people's computers is to send them emails with malicious links. People are tricked into opening these links because they appear to come from someone or something they know and trust. If you click on a link, you may be taken to a site that attempts to harvest your information or tries to hack into your computer. Only click on links that you were expecting. Not sure about an email? Call the person to confirm they sent it.
The most effective steps you can take to secure your wireless network at home is to change the default admin password, enable WPA2 encryption and use a strong password for your wireless network.
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 (such as family photos) on a regular basis.
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.
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.