Cybersecurity

cybersecurity, banner

Cybercrime is defined as an electronically committed crime such as intellectual property violations, child pornography distribution, fraud or identity theft. The FBI reported more than $1.4 billion was lost through a form of these crimes in 2017. A recent survey reports that by 2021 organizations will spend $6 trillion yearly to protect themselves from a cyber attack. Understanding common cyber terminology and common cyberattacks is one of the best defenses against cybercriminals. Following internet safety tips will help safeguard against cyberattacks.

For more information, visit the Indiana Cybersecurity Hub

 

Passwords

iphone, passcode, desk, pen, numbersPasswords are keys to personal information and data. Having a strong password will help keep intruders out.

  • Passwords should be at least eight characters long and use combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation.
  • Never use the same username and password on multiple websites.
  • Never use personal information such as names, ages, birthdays or a pet’s name.
  • Avoid entering personal passwords on shared devices.

Online shopping

In 2016, online shopping sales made up eight percent of the total retail trade revenue, which mean sensitive financial information is being transmitted and stored online. Protect this information by following these tips.

  • Before purchasing an item, check the website for security and authentication notices.
  • Be aware of severely undervalued prices.
  • On auction sites, check the seller’s reputation, read reviews about the seller and thoroughly read the item’s description.
  • At checkout, use a secure payment method such as a debit or credit card.
  • Avoid shopping on a public computer or public Wi-Fi network.

Online communication

Today, a lot of information is shared through forms of online communication. Practicing discretion will help keep this information in the right hands.

  • Never open, answer or follow tasks in emails sent from an unknown or unsolicited sender.
  • Never send personal or financial information to an unknown or unsolicited individual.
  • Do not download files or programs from an unknown company or source.
  • Change social media privacy settings so only trusted individuals can see posted information.
  • Limit the amount of personal information shared on social media.
  • Never share financial information, account information or passwords on social media.

Mobile devices

people, bus, train, public transport, mobile phones, According to the Pew Research Institute, 95 percent of Americans own some form of mobile device. These devices hold at least some personal information so protecting them from cybercriminals is important.

  • During travel, always keep laptops and electronic devices nearby or locked with a strong password, especially if they are not within reach.
  • Never answer calls or messages from unknown contacts.
  • Protect devices with a strong password.
  • Encrypt all confidential or personal information.
  • Keep all important information backed up to an external source or on a cloud storage account.

Device information

In addition to caution and strong passwords, software programs can also provide a layer of protection for devices. Research the programs and decide which one is the best fit for the household or business.

  • Back up important files to a flash drive or online cloud storage account.
  • Install anti-virus software that detects and removes viruses from electronic devices.
  • Keep device operating systems and security software up-to-date.
  • Install a firewall to block harmful material.

Additional resources:

https://www.usa.gov/online-safety
https://www.ready.gov/cybersecurity
https://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-toolkit
http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

Dos

A 2018 Ponemon Institute survey reports 67 percent of information technology professionals believe code, screen, cybersecurity, hackingorganizations will face an increase in the number of cybercrimes.

  • Understand common terminology about cybersecurity. A great way to prevent cyberattacks is understanding what they are and how they work.
  • Use passwords that are at least eight characters long and use combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation. A strong password reduces the possibility of cybercriminals finding personal information.
  • Keep anti-virus programs up-to-date on all electronic devices. These programs can detect and remove possible cyberattacks.
  • Change social media privacy settings so only trusted individuals can view posts.
  • Regularly change passwords for every account.
  • Lock computers when leaving the desk or workstation. Leaving computers unlocked allows unauthorized individuals to access sensitive work-related information.
  • Verify email senders before opening the message. The message may seem legitimate, but it could hold a virus.
  • Ask employers about available cybersecurity training courses.
  • During travel, always keep laptops and electronic devices nearby or locked with a strong password, especially if they are not within reach.

Don’ts

html, javascript, code, cybersecurityAvoiding a few common mistakes can make the workplace more secure and decrease the likelihood of a cyberattack.

  • Never use the same username and password on multiple websites. Using the same password can increase the chance of cybercriminals stealing information from multiple accounts.
  • Never use personal information like names, pet names or birthdates in passwords.
  • Never share passwords with others.
  • Never click on links or follow tasks in emails from unknown or unsolicited sources.
  • Never download images, documents or software from unknown or unsolicited sources.
  • Never share sensitive work-related information with unauthorized individuals.
  • Never keep computers on all the time.

Additional resources:

https://www.usa.gov/online-safety
https://www.ready.gov/cybersecurity