Be Your Best Internet Security Advocate
Top 10 ways to be your best internet security advocate
(You’ve heard about Equifax and a host of other security breaches. But when it comes to internet security what can you control?)
- Make sure that you have a genuine internet security and anti-virus program installed on your personal computers. There are many marketed products that can lure you into loading malware and actually decrease your protection.
- Avoid Phishing: Never click links in emails or texts that seem to come from your bank, the IRS, or any other institution. If you think the message might be valid, log into your account directly, without using the supplied link.
- Use strong and complex passwords both at work and at home.
- Don’t use the same password on multiple sites.
- Avoid Password Exposure: Don’t write a password on a piece of paper or sticky note and place it where it can potentially be stolen.
- Website Pop-Ups: Many websites contain banners with embedded links or pop-ups that appear when the page loads. Often times it may be a message saying that your computer or device is infected. Avoid the risk of clicking “OK” on anything that pops-up without reading what it entails. Scammers/hackers embed tools that can install programs on your workstation to scan for valuable and confidential information. Contact IT if you see messages or notification you don’t understand.
- Keep personal software and operating systems up to date with the latest patches especially when new security patches are released.
- Be careful about what apps you choose to install on your mobile devices and pay special attention to what permissions each app is requesting. For instance does it make sense for a weather app to demand access to your contacts or photos?
- Set your smartphone, tablet and personal home computers to lock after a short idle time and set it to require authentication for unlocking.
- Remember that you are a security layer. Many kinds of threat rely on social engineering, psychologically manipulating a victim into doing something which will enable the attacker to achieve his aims. Maintain a reasonable level of skepticism and remember that successful social engineering may use the carrot or the stick (or both), you can save yourself a lot of grief. Above all, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that security software or your favorite operating system will save you having to make sensible choices about what links and attachments you open.