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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 most likely an attacker attempting to gain access to your account.
Ever wonder just how much information is publicly available about you? Ever wonder how cyber criminals harvest information and customize attacks for their victims? The technique is called Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and it is far simpler and more powerful than you think.
Passphrases are one of the strongest type of passwords you can use and often the easiest to remember and type. Simply use random words or an entire sentence for your password, such as "Honey rain beach lost" The longer your passphrase, the stronger it is.
CEO Fraud / BEC is a type of targeted email attack. It commonly involves a cyber criminal pretending to be your boss or a senior leader and then tricking you into sending the criminal highly sensitive information, buying gift cards or initiating a wire transfer. Be highly suspicious of any emails demanding immediate action and/or asking you to bypass any security procedures.
Bad guys are very persistent, eventually anyone can 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! In addition, perhaps you lost a work laptop or a USB drive. The sooner you report an incident, the sooner we can help resolve the problem.
The Dark Web is a network of systems connected to the Internet designed to share information securely and anonymously. These capabilities are abused by cyber criminals to enable their activities, for example selling hacking tools or purchasing stolen information such as credit card data. Be aware that your information could be floating around the Dark Web, making it easier for cyber criminals to create custom attacks targeting you..
Technology alone cannot protect you. Bad guys are constantly developing new ways to get past firewalls, anti-virus and filters. You are the best defense against any attacker.
The number one step for protecting your mobile device is making sure it has a strong screen lock on it so only you can access it.
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.
Privacy is more than just settings in your social media account or using the Tor Browser. Your data and actions are collected in a variety of ways. The more aware you are of just how much of your data is collected, the better you can protect 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.
Fake news is a false narrative that is published and promoted as if it were true. People (and organizations) create fake news to control and manipulate your thoughts and actions. Be skeptical of what you read on the Internet, use trusted sources that are vetted, check their motivations and funding.
A common method cyber criminals use to hack into people's computers is to send them emails with infected attachments. Cyber attrackers will try to trick you into opening these attachments by making the email appear to come from someone or something your know or trust. Only open email attachments that you were expecting.
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.
Privacy settings on social networks can be confusing to configure and change often. Ultimately, if you do not want your parents or boss reading one of your posts, do not post the message or photo.
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.
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.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) create encrypted tunnels when you connect to the Internet. They are a fantastic way to protect your privacy and data, especially when traveling and connecting to untrusted or unknown networks, such as at hotels or coffee shops. Use a VPN whenever possible, both for work and personal use.
Using technology securely can be overwhelming or confusing, especially for those who did not grow up with it. When helping secure those who are uncomfortable with technology focus on just the basics - 1) be aware of social engineering attacks 2) secure your home network 3) keep your systems updated 4) use strong, unique passwords 5) backup your key personal data