Cyber Security Made Easy – Part 5

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National
Cyber Security Awareness month is coming to a close. We’ve already touched on
best practices for email and Twitter direct message links, search engine
searches, WiFi, and passwords.  For our
send off of the month, we offer the following final tips: 
  1.       Update
    your antivirus and all other programs (Microsoft, Adobe, Java, etc.) when you
    receive update notifications. (Double check with the software directly that it
    requires an update as rogue pop ups can mislead you into downloading unwanted
    software.)
  2.       Use
    well formed passwords on your computer, laptop, smart phone, and tablet. Not
    only will this help you avoid being hacked by some cyber-criminal but it can
    also save you from family or friends tweeting or posting how much you love Rick
    Astley. (Don’t ask.)
  3.       Backup
    your data on a regular basis. This can be with an external hard drive or a
    cloud data storage plan. Don’t wait until it’s too late because we WILL say “I
    told you so.”
  4. Angry Birds Space - 082/366
    Angry Birds Space – 082/366 (Photo credit: Frikjan)
  5.    Be
    thoughtful when adding new apps; don’t add unnecessary apps to your phone.  Is it a known trusted source for an app?
    Don’t forget that apps even from trusted sources are used to collect data from
    your laptop, smart phone, and tablet. A recent article in New York Times’ discusses how this is legally still a grey area. Applications that seem so handy and innocent such as  Angry Birds or the one that turns your phone
    into a flashlight, are also collecting personal information, usually the user’s
    location and sex and the unique identification number of the smartphone. What
    is even more unsettling is that “in some cases, they cull information from
    contact lists and pictures from photo libraries.” So think twice before
    downloading that app.

Closing
our series so close to Halloween it seems fitting to mention a scary statistic:
In a recent survey by AT&T and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, 83% of small businesses allow employees to use personal devices for
work. 
We hope we’ve contributed to your
awareness of security this all important month. Be sure to use what you’ve
learned here all year-round. Be safe out there. The Internet is a spooky place. Why not check out our complimentary Nemesis trial?  

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Cyber Security Made Easy – Part 3

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11:  A free Wi-Fi hotspot ...
NEW YORK, NY – JULY 11: A free Wi-Fi hotspot beams broadband internet from atop a public phone booth on July 11, 2012 in Manhattan, New York City. New York City launched a pilot program Wednesday to provide free public Wi-Fi at public phone booths around the five boroughs. The first ten booths were lit up with Wi-Fi routers attached to the top of existing phone booths, with six booths in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn, and one in Queens. Additional locations, including ones in the Bronx and Staten Island, are to be added soon. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

With all the talk of cyber
security in the news it is common knowledge that the Internet is not a secure
channel for exchanging information.  Most
people keep this in mind with making their home network secure. Public WiFi
is another story. To see exactly how easy it is to be hacked using
public WiFi, watch the W5 interview. Part one looks at how
easy it is to view someone else’s laptop and part two looks at how easy it is
to access someone’s password for personal banking. 
It is advised when using
public WiFi to avoid logging into areas of the Internet where you may have
sensitive data, such as online banking. As a rule of thumb, when on public
WiFi, pretend everything you are doing is on a giant screen for everyone to
view and all passwords are visible. If you must get on the Internet, when no
familiar and secure network is available, try using your smart phone as a
wireless hotspot instead.
Note: In order to be able to
do this you need to have a data plan that is large enough to support this
option.
Here are the steps for an
iPhone 4G
Step 1: Go to Settings
Step 2: Select Personal
Hotspot
Step 3: Select how you want
to make the connection through Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB.
Step 4: Create password.
Typically it will be 8 characters and you should use best practices including
lower and capital case letters, numbers and symbols.
Step 5: Choose the newly created hotspot from your other
device and key in the password created in the previous step.
In our next installment of
this series we look at best practices for passwords. 

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