Using Gift Cards this Holiday Season With so many breaches occurring at retail stores nation wide, it is no wonder shoppers are iffy on using their credit and debit cards this Holiday season. To avoid being a victim of a breach, cyber security experts recommend you going to your financial institute and obtain a registered gift card to do your online shopping. It won’t be tied to any of your bank accounts and may even help with your Holiday budgeting. #NCSAM
With the Holidays just around the corner, folks may be considering upgrading their old desktop or laptop to a newer model. So what do people do with their old computers? It is important to remember to erase all personal information from old computers before disposing or selling them. Simply reformatting a hard drive or reinstalling the operating system does not guarantee that your personal information is actually gone from the computer. Here are some tips on how to safely dispose of them: You could physically destroy the hard drive For those who want to sell their old system or give it a family member, destroying the hard drive may not be a plausible option. In this case using a special “wipe” program will erase all your personal information. Programs such as Active@ KillDisk and Softpedia DP Wiper, are free and meet government security standards. Both Apple and Microsoft have refurbish programs that will safely dispose of old electronics and securely wipe the data for you.
Five Ways to Keep Your Facebook Account Secure With social media sites like Facebook, hackers and crocks are finding it easier to not only find information about you but also using that information to bully you online. The news recently reported that military families are getting bullied by ISIS now on Facebook. They are being contacted and threaten with death. Here are some simple ways you can secure your Facebook account and avoid being bulled and hopefully avoid getting hacked. • Pick a strong password and never share it with anyone else. Use a combination of at least six numbers, letters, and punctuation marks (like ! and &). • Use Facebook’s extra security features such as setting up a one-time password to log into your account anytime you feel uncomfortable entering your real password on Facebook (ex: in a library or internet cafe). • Do not accept all Friend Requests. Not every Friend Request is legitimate. Keep your list of accepted friends and family close as you would in the non-digital world. • Be sure to watch what you place on your Wall. The Wall is exactly that, a wall such as the bulletin board at work or in school. When you make postings to your wall, the post is placed prominently on your Facebook site and also copied to all your friends and family as an update of what you are doing • Set up login notifications. Facebook can send you an alert every time someone accesses your account from an unknown computer or other device, enabling you to receive a warning that someone has gained unauthorized access to your account. #NCSAM
Social Media Postings Can Reveal More Information Than You Think Security experts and privacy advocates have been warning for the past couple of years about the potential dangers of geotags, which are embedded in photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones and digital cameras. Geotags are not visible to the casual viewer, and many people may not realize they are there; however these hidden tags can often contain information that could be used to identify you or the places you visit frequently. Never post unflattering or embarrassing pictures (no matter how funny) that could come back to haunt you. Remember anything you post online is there forever! Carefully examine photos for identifying information such as the name of your school, the name of a sports team or organization you belong to, the address of the place you work or your favorite social hangout. Do not give out the full name of an individual in a photo captions. Remember pictures can also be copied or altered and used on other websites in ways that might be detrimental to your reputation. Another important tip is to never advertise that you are away from home! When you post that you’re on vacation, or when you “check in” to your favorite meeting place on social media sites that tells others not only where you are, but also that you’re not home. Your friends aren’t the only ones who’d like to know where you are. Thieves and stalkers do too. #NCSAM