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Cyber Security

As promised, here are some tips to keep you and your information safe and to know what to look for. Please keep these in mind if you have elderly loved ones who have a computer or a smart phone.

The internet is great! Cat videos and tutorials on how to do pretty much anything under the sun. The internet provides us with a large amount of information on any subject. Unfortunately, not everything we read on the internet is true and those banners, hate to tell you, you are not the “1 millionth visitor” to the site and that e-mail you got from someone overseas claiming you are a long lost relative about to receive a lot of money is a scam – an older scam but apparently still in circulation. Clicking on these links or downloading items or giving your bank information can have consequences ranging from a virus to someone accessing your computer or sites that are masquerading as a legitimate websites asking for your login information. What you post on Facebook can stay cached forever. Information posted about military flights, deployments, etc. can jeapordize our troops. Putting your vacation plans online can get your house broken into.

Some tips for safe internet surfing and keeping your computer secure:

  • Password protect your computer
    • Change this often
    • Should not be easy – suggest using numbers, letters, and symbols
    • Lock your computer when you step away from it (in the work place)
    • Do not autosave your passwords – its easy and tempting but if anyone got into your computer, there goes your bank account, or your facebook account
    • Use antivirus software that is up to date. Scan often
    • Use popup blockers on your browser – it should be in options or settings
  • Social media sites
    • Don’t save your passwords
    • Be careful with how much information you put online
    • Have facebook notify you whenever you are tagged in a photo or a status
    • If you wouldn’t want your grandma to see the photos you are posting, don’t post them – what happens online can stay online for a very long time and it is difficult to remove
    • Do NOT put sensitive information online – of course you’re excited to see your family member who is coming back from a deployment or happy that your spouse made it back from a dangerous profession, or that you are going to Maui next week. Keep the details off the internet – you never know who is looking at your information
    • Be careful clicking on ads or links or photos – hover over the link, it if looks like it goes elsewhere, do not click on it
    • Suggestion: do not post negative things about your job or potential job. It seems employers are checking these things
    • Monitor your children and if needed an elderly relative internet usage – try to do so without asking for passwords and login names. You want to check in, not snoop.
    • If your child is chatting online with people – be watchful for changes in your child’s behavior
  • e-Mail
    • You are not the heir (probably) to a fortune in another country (unless you really are but for most of us, its a scam). Do not send them any information, especially bank information, social security numbers, etc.
    • Establishments will not ask for your login information via e-mail – do not put your information in
    • Do not open attachments or links from unknown senders. If you an e-mail from a friend or family that doesnt sound like something they would say, call before clicking
  • Some rules for the work place
    • Watch what you do, your employer probably is
    • Do not click links that look suspicious
    • Lock your computer when you step away, even if its just a restroom break
    • Maintain a level of professionalism if you use social media – be careful putting information online, some work information could be considered sensitive
    • Common courtesy would dictate that you do not post mean or rude things about co-workers of your boss

These are just some tips for safety and security. Another thing to keep in mind – keep your antivirus software up to date and scan often.

Thank you everyone for taking a look at this.

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