SANS Tip of the Day
The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips
Updated: 21 min 30 sec ago
Passphrases are the strongest type of passwords and the easiest to remember. Simply use an entire sentence for your password, such as "What time is coffee?" By using spaces and punctuation, you create a long password that is hard to guess but easy to remember.
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.
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.
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.
Report any identity theft immediately by following these steps:Contact the three major credit bureaus and have them place a fraud alert on your credit report.If a credit card was involved, contact the credit card company and have a new credit card with a new number issued.Contact your local law enforcement agency and file a report.File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.Document all conversations so you know whom you spoke to and when.
Keep in mind that digital data is not the only thing that needs to be protected. Paper documents also need to be protected. When disposing of any confidential documents, make sure they are shredded first or disposed of in bins for shredding. Also, be sure to lock up any sensitive documents before you go home at the end of the day.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.