SANS Tip of the Day
The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips
Updated: 57 min 51 sec ago
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Phishing is when an attacker attempts to fool you into clicking on a malicious link or opening an attachment in an email. Be suspicious of any email or online message that creates a sense of urgency, has bad spelling or addresses you as "Dear Customer."
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.
One of the most effective methods you can use to protect kids online is to talk to them. The younger you start talking to them, and they to you, the better. Hold regular conversations about online safety issues, even going so far as to show them actual negative events that have taken place. If you don't know what your kids are doing, simply ask. Play the clueless parent and ask them to show you what the latest technologies are and how they use them. Quite often, kids love the idea of being the teacher and will open up.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.