October is National CyberSecurity Awareness Month!
by Brianna Vega on October 8, 2019
There are so many different topics we can discuss within CyberSecurity. With my newsletters this past year I feel that we have covered a good majority of them. I wanted to take this newsletter and share with you an interesting video on CyberSecurity and resources to help you stay secure.
I first wanted to discuss social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other platform you use to connect with friends, family and everyone around the world. You know those quizzes you see on Facebook that say “Find your wrestler name: Use your pet’s name and the street you grew up on”...okay cool, my wrestler name is Jack Pine. It may seem harmless but exposing that information on Facebook just allowed a hacker to gather some important information about you. That pet name and street you grew up could result in a password or an answer to a security question. You just gave the hacker most of what they need to steal your information!
Do you realize how much information you share with the world? Do you know how much data you’ve exposed about your life to social media? Your friends and family are not the only ones who are watching.
I watched this video of a Social Engineering experiment that took place in the U.K. It took place at a coffee shop, the coffee shop had a sign outside its window saying “Like our Facebook page and get a free coffee/pastry”. People would walk by seeing the sign, log into their Facebook page and like the Coffee shop’s page and then head in to claim their free coffee and pastry. While these people were liking the page and then heading into the coffee shop, the barista would be listening to hackers from a van parked outside the coffee shop. These hackers in the van would be looking at these people’s Facebook pages and tell the Barista everything they could find out about that person in the time it took the Barista to make their cup of coffee. The Barista would write the information on the coffee cup, the coffee cup would say something like “John’s sister is a doctor from NY, John has two dogs, John lives in Worcester, John graduated from Boston College”, all this information is easily available on John’s Facebook page and these hackers and this experiment was intended to expose this. Click on the video below to be directed to the video!
Easy Guide to Securing your Personal Devices
Now onto the topic of securing your personal devices from the harmful threats out there. There’s a lot of different things you can do to help secure your information. Always make sure you have an antivirus installed on your workstation. Avast, McAfee and Norton offer great Anti-virus solutions for your system. If you have a Mac from Apple your device is fairly secure but you can always double on security by installing an Anti-virus like Airo Anti-virus which is exclusive to Mac devices.
So you have strengthened your security by installing an antivirus. Next step, is to make all of your passwords secure. Google Chrome has a built in password safe and it suggests secure passwords for you and stores them so you do not need to create a crazy password. You can also use a product like LastPass or KeePass to keep your passwords secure and stored safely.
Let’s say you have accidently clicked something weird or your child has clicked an ad while watching YouTube videos and now you’re scared your computer has something installed on it. You can download a tool called MalwareBytes that will scan your whole computer for viruses and malware and remove them.
Okay, your computer is running slow--not entirely security related but its a pain! Download and install CCleaner. This tool will scan your computer and notify you of any duplicate files, temporary files, programs you do not need and tells you what is taking up so much space on your system and allows you to remove them.
You have taken easy steps to make your device more secure. You will never be fully protected, we never are. It is important to educate yourself so that you are the last line of defense against attackers.
If you ever have a concern or question on best security practices, please feel free to email me at email@example.com Thank you!
A list of resources for the products mentioned above are listed below, along with another guide on how to be more secure!
References: Murray, E., G., Y., Murray, E., & Security Guard Management. (2018, April 19). An Idiots Guide To Computer Security [Comic]. Retrieved from https://blog.toggl.com/computer-security-guide/.