The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips
Updated: 4 min 4 sec ago
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..
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.
Only install mobile apps from trusted places, and always double-check the privacy settings to ensure you are not giving away too much information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (also called two-factor authentication or 2FA) 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. At a minimum enable two-step verifcation for your most important accounts such as emai, financial and retirement accounts.
What happens to our digital presence when we die or become incapacitated? Many of us have or know we should have a will and checklists of what loved ones need to know in the event of our passing. But what about all of our digital data and online accounts? Consider creating some type of digital will, often called a "Digital Inheritance" plan.
CEO Fraud / BEC 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.
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.
Cyber criminals now have a wealth of information on almost all of us. With so many hacked organizations now a days, cyber criminals simply purchase databases with personal information on millions of people, then use that information to customize their attacks, making them far more realistic. Just because an urgent email has your home address, phone number or birth date in it does not mean it is legitimate.
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.
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.
Have you considered a career in Cybersecurity? It is a fast-paced, highly dynamic field with a huge number of specialties to choose from, including forensics, endpoint security, critical infrastructure, incident response, secure coding, and awareness and training. In addition, a career in cybersecurity allows you to work almost anywhere in the world, with amazing benefits and an opportunity to make a real difference. However, the most exciting thing is you do NOT need a technical background, anyone can get started.
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.
The most effective steps you can take to secure your wireless network at home is to change the default admin password, enable encryption and use a strong password for your wireless network.
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.
When attending a video conference, make sure you are using the latest version of the conferencing software. In addition, if you are using the video option make sure there is nothing sensitive behind you that others would see.