Security Awareness

It seems as if almost weekly, we hear something about cyber-attacks, stolen passwords or something to do with homeland security. So what steps can you take to keep your information as secure as possible?

One of the best things to remember is to not rush into offering up your information. Take the time to investigate whether or not what you are doing is necessary. For example, many of us today use social media to stay in touch and get our news. People using Facebook love getting real-time posts, but they may also like to see who is viewing their profile and who has “Unfriended” them from their Friends list. Software apps exists that claim to keep you apprised of this type of activity, however, most of these apps are long on promise and short on delivery. Most concerning, is that a number of these apps actually steal your password information by having you input your user credentials into the app in order to make it work. When using Facebook, do not fall victim to these elaborate scams to get your information. If you are using an app associated with Facebook, it should NOT be necessary to enter your password information and if the app asks you to, it is most likely a scam and should be avoided.

Another simple thing to do is to limit access to your information. While it is relatively easy to know who has physical access to your computer at your home or office, you are less likely to know if someone is trying to hack into your computer from off-site. When not in use, locking or logging-off your computer will keep anyone in the local area from sitting down and taking your information. If you want to add an extra element of security, turn off your computer and even unplug your computer from the network when not in use. While, this step may be extreme, it does help ensure that no hackers will have access to your computer through the Internet. While we cannot eliminate all risk, a few precautions on the front-end can save you a lot of heartache in the future.