SANS Tip of the Day
The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips
Updated: 2 hours 1 min ago
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.
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 that there is a green lock next to it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make sure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer and that it is automatically updating. However, keep in mind that no anti-virus can catch all malware; your computer can still be infected. That is why it's so important you use common sense and be wary of any messages that seem odd or suspicious.
Leaving your seat? Ctrl--Alt--Delete! Make sure you lock your workstation or laptop while you are away from it. On a Mac? Try Control--Shift--Eject/Power.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Privacy settings on social networks have limited value. They are confusing to configure and change often. Ultimately, if you do not want your parents or boss reading it, do not post it.
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.
If you have kids with mobile devices, create a central home charging station in a place like 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.
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.
Be careful: the more information you post online about yourself, the easier it is for a cyber attacker to target you and create custom attacks against you or your organization.