The most recent SANS Institute Security Awareness Tips
Updated: 56 min 58 sec ago
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.
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.
Did you know 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 devices with you, such as when leaving airport security, exiting your taxi or check out of your hotel.
If you have kids with mobile devices, create a central home charging station in a place like your bedroom. Before the kids go to bed at night, have them put their mobile devices there so they are not tempted to play with them when they should be sleeping.
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.
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.
Some of the most common indicators that you may have been include the following. Your friends tell you that they have received odd emails or messages from you, messages you know you did not send. Your password no longer works for one of your accounts, even though you know you never changed the password. Your anti-virus informs you that one of your files or computer is infected. You receive a pop-up message informing you that the files on your computer have been encrypted and you must pay a ransom to recover them.
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.
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.
Ultimately, common sense is your best defense. If an email, phone call or online message seems very urgent, suspicious or too good to be true, it may be an attack.
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.
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.
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.
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 an attacker attempting to gain access to your account.