October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! Below are some tips to help you keep your information protected.
DECIDING BETWEEN PAPER AND ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS
- Before logging into any site that stores private information, make sure the website address begins with HTTPS: and not HTTP:. It’s the ‘S’ that identifies the site as having implemented additional security controls.
- Use a unique, strong password: a lowercase and uppercase letter, a number and a special character. Too hard to remember? Try creating a passphrase. Perhaps lyrics to your favorite song or a phrase that you’re fond of…something easy to remember, then make a few changes to follow the site’s conventions:
- Passphrase: You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog equals password: U@’nbaHD1
- Enable multi-factor authentication wherever possible. This could include a username, a strong password, and a PIN/Code that is emailed, texted or telephoned to you. It could also include registering your computer’s address with the site, prohibiting any other device from accessing your account.
- Keep all of your computer’s software and anti-virus software updated.
Paper and US Mail considerations…
- Destroy all of those private papers before you put them into the trash. Searching through trash to collect private information is a commonly-used method to steal identities. TBA Credit Union believes it’s important and will be giving away a shredder to one lucky member in October, all members are automatically entered to win. Cross shredders are a simple, effective and low-priced way to protect your information.
- If mailing a payment, the red flag on your mail box may invite someone to steal your mail and the check that’s included. Consider using a USPS deposit box or visiting the Post Office to mail your payments. You may be targeted based on where you live.
- If receiving invoices or statements in the US mail, someone could steal your mail. If you’ve not received mail you expected, immediately contact your institution.
EVERYTHING THAT YOU POST, OR IS POSTED ABOUT YOU, IS ONLINE FOREVER
- There is no Delete button and there’s no taking it back. Potential and current employers use social media. Next time you’re updating your page or posting photos of last night’s party, consider if it incriminates or could be used against you.
- Don’t post where you live, complete names, your pet’s name, or if you’re going on vacation. (That’s a great time for a robber to visit.)
- Be ethical and be nice.
SAFE ONLINE PRACTICES FOR CHILDREN
As technology and society’s expectations rapidly change, here are a few tips for parents.
- Set Expectations and be sure your children understand them before giving them access to technology. Such as when they can be online, and what they can share.
- Educate and Mentor your children about online threats such as predators, bullies and the risk of sharing too much information. Talk with them about what to do if something bad happens.
- Centralize where computers, phones, and gaming consoles are stored before kids go to bed.
- Communicate and help them feel comfortable talking and sharing with you. Thank them for sharing when they do.
- Seek resources, including these videos https://www.rsaconference.com/about/rsac-cyber-safety/rsac-cyber-safety-videos
SECURE YOUR HOME’S WIRELESS NETWORK
- Update the Administrator and User default passwords to strong passwords, and don’t share them with your neighbor. Default passwords can be found online.
- Enable WAP2 encryption. Don’t use WEP.
- Turn off Remote Access, unless you will actively use it.
- Some routers allow you to register which devices can use it or can turn off access during times of day when you will not be using it.
- Like your computer and phone, keep your router’s software updated.
YOUR SMARTPHONE/TABLET IS MORE VALUABLE THAN CASH
- Think of all of the information on it–pictures, email, contacts, mobile wallet, passwords, your location and where you live. Limit what you store, assume you’ll lose it someday.
- Use a Master PIN to secure it and avoid using only a fingerprint to secure it.
- Don’t use free or public Wi-Fi when logging into your banking, insurance or email accounts. You don’t know who is protecting or snooping on that network