Tips to Maintain Cyber Security
I recently attended a seminar on protecting your identity co-sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. With industry experts Julie Brill of the Federal Trade Commission and Kristin Judge of NCSA, the information given was phenomenal. I'd like to share a few things that were reviewed and some Tips to Maintain Cyber Security.
1. Passwords: When you are trying to keep intruders out of your home, you use dead bolts and lighting. When trying to keep intruders out of your personal information you use a solid password. This may seem obvious but studies show that the number one password in use is 123456 and the number two password is "password". A good way to create a password is to take a sentence such as "I like ice cream with rainbow sprinkles" and convert to letters and symbols by using the first letter of each word which could look like this: 1L1cwr$.
2. Two step verification: You may have encountered this with some credit cards. If the website detects that you are using a different computer than usual, they will text an access code to your mobile phone for you to enter. Since you need both the mobile device and the computer, it is less likely that your account will be hacked. Two step verification is available for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. To learn how to use on your social sites just Google the social site + two-step verification for instructions.
3. Be Vigilant: One presenter told a story about how she, a cyber security employee who keeps her email inbox clear, woke up one morning to 1600+ emails. While her first inclination was to delete them all, she called another cyber security expert for their opinion. She was told "You need to read those emails. They flooded your box because there is something in there that they don't want you to see." As she went through the emails, she found that someone had hacked her paypal account and charged something to it. She was able to get it straightened out right away due to her vigilance. If something seems wrong, it probably is.
HP released a study this summer that revealed that 90% of connected devices collect personal data and 70% of them transmit it without encryption. Manufacturers need to figure out how to make safer devices. In the meantime, consumers need to do what they can to protect themselves and these 3 tips are a strong start.