Cybersecurity tips with Katrina

During the month of October we’ll share some tips on how to #BeCyberSmart, common scams and how to avoid them, and how to report Cyber Crime.

Follow #BeCyberSmart on social media for tips, and visit https://www.dhs.gov/be-cyber-smart.

Katrina Jacobson, a cybersecurity expert, shares her cybersecurity tips…

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When I say what is the first thing you think of? Hackers, viruses, stollen information all of those can harm or tamper with the integrity of your devices. Cybersecurity is the process of protecting networks, devices, programs, and data from attacks, damage, and unauthorized access. Cybersecurity is important because we work with sensitive information. 

Everyone who accesses the internet is at risk for a cyber-attack of some sort if they do not protect themselves. The simplest way to protect yourself against cyber-attacks is to create strong passwords for every website and to not use the same one repeatedly.  When it comes to passwords, they should contain at least ten characters, including special characters such as: !@#$%, upper case and lowercase letters as well as numbers. An example password could be something along the lines of: N@l@mc20!2, although you shouldn’t use the names and birthdates of your children because that information can easily be found out. A good rule of thumb for passwords is to not use any information that the perpetrator could find by looking at your desk i.e. pictures of your family, pets, or important dates. Also don’t have your passwords saved to your devices, it is terribly easy to steal your information if it is all saved in one spot. 

Another step toward proper cybersecurity would be to avoid phishing and scam emails at all costs. Have emails from unknown contacts go straight to the spam folder where you can go through to see if it is legitimate or not. Once you are sure the email is from a proper source then you can open it, if you are unsure if the email is from a company or person that you trust you can always open it in a secure browser setting so that it can’t cause harm to your computer. Phishers like to prey on employees in the hopes that they will open the emails that contain malicious links or hidden viruses (trojan worms). Therefore, it is important not to click on links or attachments in emails from senders whom you do not know. 

A good rule to follow is to NEVER enter personal or company information in response to an email, pop-up webpage, or any unofficial form of communication that you didn’t initiate. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of an email or other communication, always contact your security department or security lead.

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