SANS Security Awareness Tip of the Day

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The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips

Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Network

Jan 19, 2020

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.

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What is Malware

Jan 15, 2020

Malware is software--a computer program--used to perform malicious actions. In fact, the term malware is a combination of the words malicious and software. Cyber criminals install malware on your computers or devices to gain control over them or gain access to what they contain. Once installed, these attackers can use malware to spy on your online activities, steal your passwords and files, or use your system to attack others.

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Smart Home Devices

Jan 13, 2020

Now adays most of us have numerous devices in our homes connect to the Internet. From thermostats and gaming consoles to baby monitors, door locks or even your car. Ensure you change the default passwords on these devices and enable automatic updating.

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Kids and Education

Jan 8, 2020

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.

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Got Backups?

Jan 2, 2020

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 at home (such as family photos) on a regular basis.

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Plugins

Jan 1, 2020

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.

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Scamming You Through Social Media

Dec 30, 2019

You may be aware that cyber attacks will try to trick you over the phone or through email using phishing attacks, but do you realize they may try to attack you also over Social Media, such as through Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? Just like in email, if you get any Social Media messages that are highly urgent or too good to be true, it may be an attack.

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Ransomware

Dec 29, 2019

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.

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Phone Call Attacks

Dec 26, 2019

More and more scams and attacks are happening over the phone. Whenever you get an urgent phone call on the phone pressuring you to do something (such as a caller pretending to be the tax department or Microsoft Tech Support) be very suspicious. It's most likely a scammer trying to trick you out of money or pressure you into making a mistake. Protect yourself, simply hang up the phone. You are not being rude, the person on the other line is trying to take advantage of you.

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Unique Passwords

Dec 24, 2019

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.

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You Are a Target

Dec 22, 2019

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.

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Patch and Update

Dec 17, 2019

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.

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Don't Login on Untrusted Computers

Dec 12, 2019

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.

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Shopping Online Securely

Dec 8, 2019

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.

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Never Share Your Passwords

Dec 4, 2019

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.

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Virtual Private Networks

Nov 28, 2019

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.

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Dark Web

Nov 12, 2019

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..

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Email Auto-Complete

Nov 11, 2019

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.

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Never Respond to Emails Asking for Personal Information

Nov 10, 2019

Companies you do business with should never ask for your account information, credit card numbers or password in an email. If you have any questions about an email you receive that supposedly came from your financial institution or service provider, find their number on their website and call them.

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Securely Disposing Mobile Devices

Oct 28, 2019

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.

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