Be Aware of What Information You Put in Autoresponders Do you use autoresponder on your email accounts? While autoresponder is an awesome tool to let people know that you are away, hackers and crooks also see this as an awesome tool to determine the best time hack into your computer system or rob your home. As long as the autoresponder is enabled, it will automatically respond to anyone who emails you. Consider the verbiage you use. Do not give out specific details about your location or itinerary and consider using a phrase like, “I will not have access to email between (date) and (date).”
Beware of Rogue Anti-Virus Software Rogue software or “scareware” is fake antivirus or security software. Bad guys usually try to get you to install it by generating a pop-up window as you surf the web. The “updates” or “alerts” in the pop-up windows call for you to take some sort of action, such as clicking to install the software, accept recommended updates, or remove unwanted viruses or spyware. When you click, the rogue security software downloads to your computer. Here’s some ways to apply computer security best practices that will help protect your machine and minimize any potential impacts: 1. Don’t click on pop-up ads that advertise anti-virus or anti-spyware programs 2. Don’t download software from unknown sources. 3. Use and regularly update firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware programs. 4. Patch operating systems, browsers, and other software programs. 5. Regularly scan and clean your computer. 6. Back up your critical files. Take Microsoft’s Real vs. Rogue quiz:https://www.facebook.com/msftmmpc/app_236330836495399 to help you tell if a security warning is from your real antivirus software or from rogue security.
Cyber Security Tip #13: How to spot a phishing email: It could be a phishing email if… There are misspelled words in the e-mail or it contains poor grammar. The message is asking for personally identifiable information, such as credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords, PINs or Social Security Numbers. There are “threats” or alarming statements that create a sense of urgency. For example: “Your account will be locked until we hear from you” or “We have noticed activity on your account from a foreign IP address.” The domain name in the message isn’t the one you’re used to seeing. It’s usually close to the real domain name but not exact. For example: Phishing website: www.regionsbanking.com Real website: www.regions.com #NCSAM
Cyber Security Tip #11 5 Tips for Shopping Online Safely and Secure 1. Look for the lock! Before making a purchase online, make sure the site is secure: https:// or shttp:// in the URL Use familiar site! Start at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine. 2. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray, especially when you drift past the first few pages of links. 3. Don’t tell all! No online shopping store needs your social security number or your birthday to do business. 4. Don’t wait for your bill to come at the end of the month. Go online regularly during the holiday season and look at electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. Make sure you don’t see any fraudulent charges, even originating from sites like PayPal 5. Think mobile! There’s no real need to be any more nervous about shopping on a mobile device than online. The trick is to use apps provided directly by the retailers, like Amazon, Target, etc. Use the apps to find what you want and then make the purchase directly. #NCSAM
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
With two-thirds of Americans owning a smartphone, it is becoming more important for users to take steps to protect themselves against cell phone fraud and scams. In recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the American Bankers Association suggests the following 12 steps to protect the data on your mobile device. Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your email, texts and other information if your device is lost or stolen. Log out completely and close the app when you finish a mobile banking session. Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren’t very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network. Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.” Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps. Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device. Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected. Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen. Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device. Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information. Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software. Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately. #NCSAM
Lake Havasu City, AZ – Supervisor Buster Johnson would like to warn the public of a new cyber threat affecting mobile devices. According to a threat assessment report done by SnoopWall, an international counter surveillance security software company, the top 10 free flashlight apps in Android’s Google Play store contain malware that allow hackers to spy and gather personal information. “Nearly half a billion installations of these apps have occurred causing major concern,” Supervisor Johnson, 1st Vice Chairman of the National Association of Counties Cyber Security Task Force Team, stated. “While these apps may be a great convenience for users who need to find their house keys in the dark, they are posing a great security threat to every user who installs them,” Johnson continued. According to the report, users who install these apps are unknowingly giving hacker’s permission to locate them through GPS, read their personal information stored on the device, view personal photos and videos and even gain access to their financial information. “Users who have installed the flashlight app and do mobile banking through their device are at a greater risk for exposure because of the vulnerability found in these apps,” Johnson said. According to SnoopWall CEO, Gary Miliefsky, the average size of a flashlight app should be no more than 72 kilobytes. The size of these flashlight apps are ranging anywhere from 1.2 to 5 megabytes. “These hackers are embedding more code than necessary into these popular apps which allows them to collect personal data and spy on the cell phone user,” Johnson said. While the report done by SnoopWall focused on the top 10 Android apps, it did mention that Windows and Apple iOS users should still remain cautious when downloading third party apps. The following are ways users can increase their privacy and security to avoid some of these vulnerabilities on their mobile device: Disable your GPS at all times except in an emergency or when needed for navigation purposes; Disable the NFC (Near Field Communications) or on Apple devices, iBeacon, permanently (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6048); Disable Bluetooth at all times except when needed to make hands-free calls Verify apps behavior and privacy risk BEFORE installing – do some research and ask the questions “why does this app need GPS, MICROPHONE, WEBCAM, CONTACTS, etc.?” – most apps don’t need these ports unless they want to invade your privacy. Find an alternative before installing risky apps. To read the full report done by SnoopWall, please visit: http://www.snoopwall.com/threat-reports-10-01-2014/