The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips
Updated: 59 min 27 sec ago
A common method cyber criminals use to hack into people's computers is to send them emails with malicious links. People are tricked into opening these links because they appear to come from someone or something they know and trust. If you click on a link, you may be taken to a site that attempts to harvest your information or tries to hack into your computer. Only click on links that you were expecting. Not sure about an email? Call the person to confirm they sent it.
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.
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 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.
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.
Be careful with email auto-complete. This is an email feature that automatically completes a name for you when you begin typing it in the TO field. However, your email client can easily complete the wrong name for you. If you are emailing anything sensitive, always be sure to check the TO field a second time before hitting the send button.
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.
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.
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.
Did you know that according to the Verizon DBIR report, you are 100 times more likely to lose a laptop or mobile devices than have it stolen? When you are traveling, always double-check to make sure you have your mobile device with you, such as when leaving airport security, exiting your taxi or check out of your hotel.
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.
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.
When a major news event happens, cyber criminals will take advantage of the incident and send phishing emails with a subject line related to the event. These phishing emails often include a link to malicious websites, an infected attachment or are a scam designed to trick you out of your money.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Eventually, we all get hacked. The bad guys are very persistent and we can all 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! Your security team is there to help you. The sooner you report an incident, the sooner we can help resolve the problem.