SANS Security Awareness Tip of the Day

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The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips

Don't Trust Links Sent in Email Messages

Aug 13, 2017

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.

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Kids and Education

Aug 7, 2017

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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Social Media Postings

Aug 6, 2017

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.

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Anti-Virus

Aug 2, 2017

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.

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Ransomware

Jul 31, 2017

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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Mobile Apps

Jul 30, 2017

Only install mobile apps from trusted places, and always double-check the privacy settings to ensure you are not giving away too much information.

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Go With Passphrases

Jul 24, 2017

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.

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Don't Login on Untrusted Computers

Jul 17, 2017

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.

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Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Router

Jul 16, 2017

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.

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Unique Passwords

Jul 13, 2017

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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If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

Jul 10, 2017

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.

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Paper Documents Also Have to Be Protected

Jul 3, 2017

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.

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Lock Your Mobile Devices

Jun 29, 2017

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.

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Back up Your Files

Jun 22, 2017

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.

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Forwarding Emails

Jun 15, 2017

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.

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Browse With Encryption

Jun 13, 2017

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.

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Securely Deleting Files

Jun 7, 2017

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.

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Shopping Online

May 29, 2017

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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Trust Your Instincts

May 28, 2017

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.

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Cloud Security

May 25, 2017

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.

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