Follow these six National Cyber Security Alliance recommendations to better protect yourself online and make the Internet more secure for everyone:
- Fortify each online account or device. Enable the strongest authentication tools available. This might include biometrics, security keys, or unique one-time codes sent to your mobile device. Usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts such as e-mail, banking, and social media.
- Keep a clean machine. Make sure all software on Internet-connected devices — including PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets — are updated regularly to reduce the risk of malware infection.
- Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it. Information about you, such as purchase history or location, has value — just like money. Be thoughtful about who receives that information and how it’s collected by apps or websites.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Cybercriminals often use links to try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
- Share with care. Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it, and how it could be perceived now and in the future.
- Own your online presence. Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s okay to limit how and with whom you share information.
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Article courtesy of Educause
You exist in digital form all over the Internet. It is thus important to ensure that the digital “You” matches what you are intending to share. It is also critical to guard your privacy — not only to avoid embarrassment, but also to protect your identity and finances!
Following are specific steps you can take to protect your online information, identity, and privacy.
- Use a unique password for each site. Hackers often use previously compromised information to access other sites. Choosing unique passwords keeps that risk to a minimum.
- Use a password manager. Using an encrypted password manager to store your passwords makes it easy to access and use a unique password for each site. See https://securingthehuman.sans.org/newsletters/ouch/issues/OUCH-201310_en.pdf for more info on password managers. The OIT department uses Lastpass for our purposes and have found it easy to use and secure.
- Know what you are sharing. Check the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts; some even include a wizard to walk you through the settings. Always be cautious about what you post publicly.
- Guard your date of birth and telephone number. These are key pieces of information used for verification, and you should not share them publicly. If an online service or site asks you to share this critical information, consider whether it is important enough to warrant it.
- Keep your work and personal presences separate. Your employer has the right to access your e-mail account, so you should use an outside service for private e-mails. This also helps you ensure uninterrupted access to your private e-mail and other services if you switch employers.
- There are no true secrets online. Use the postcard or billboard test: Would you be comfortable with everyone reading a message or post? If not, don’t share it.
(Taken in part from the EducauseReview website)