The state of being protected against the criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data, or the measures taken to achieve this.
- Password management is important but can seem tedious. Try implementing a passphrase instead to keep you protected but take the frustration of mindless number and letter combinations away. Here’s how: a passphrase can be a saying or song lyric, a quote from a book, magazine, or movie, or something a family member says. Something easy for you to remember, then use the first letter of each word in the phrase, along with a combination of numbers and special characters, as your passphrase. Don’t use the same passphrase for multiple sites. Don’t share your passphrase with others. Especially, do not write it on a post-it note and attach it to your monitor.
- Always be careful when opening attachments or clicking links in an email. Use common sense, is the sender a trusted contact, does the information seem consistent and reliable? If unexpected or suspicious for any reason, do not click to open. Double check the URL of the website the link takes you to: imposters will often take advantage of spelling mistakes to direct you to a harmful domain. Try this Phishing Quiz and see how convincing imposters can be.
- Keep sensitive information private. Banking or online shopping should only be done on a device that belongs to you, on a network that you trust. A friend’s phone, a public computer, or a cafe’s free WiFi are top ways for your data to be copied or stolen. Don’t make it easy for your information to be compromised.
- Sharing on social networks has become a common part of daily life, but be cautious. Not everyone is your friend; criminals can easily gain access to a shocking amount of information by pretending to befriend you. Details such as where you go to school, where you work, when you’re on vacation can help them gain access to more valuable data.
- Social engineering is the attempt to gain confidential or personal information from you through manipulation or deception. If someone calls or emails you asking for sensitive information be cautious. Do not respond to emails asking for personal information, a bank or other institution will not ask for personal info via email. Phone calls can be tricky. Do not give out information without verification. It is perfectly okay to get information from them first, hang up and call the company directly to verify credentials before giving out any information.
- Monitor your accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. If you see something unfamiliar check it out, it could be a sign that you’ve been compromised. Quick detection and response is a key to good defense.
- Back up your data regularly as we discussed in last month blog article, (Safeguard Your Data – 6 Quick Tips) and make sure your anti-virus software is always up to date.
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PCS can help you with any of the above mentioned items.