Crime used to mean things like break-ins and thieves swiping packages from your doorstep. But now there’s an increasing number of cybersecurity threats that are also crimes of opportunity. With more and more people using unfamiliar networks and doing lots of online shopping, bad actors have plenty of targets to choose from. By following these simple steps for data protection, you can keep your digital information secure.
(BPT) - Crime used to mean things like break-ins and thieves swiping packages from your doorstep. But now there’s an increasing number of cybersecurity threats that are also crimes of opportunity. With more and more people using unfamiliar networks and doing lots of online shopping, bad actors have plenty of targets to choose from. By following these simple steps for data protection, you can keep your digital information secure.
1. Be careful when using insecure Wi-Fi networks
If you’re traveling or out shopping, you may find yourself on an unfamiliar Wi-Fi network. Many stores, airports and rest stops offer free Wi-Fi as a convenience, but often those networks aren’t secured. That makes it especially risky to make online purchases because the traffic from your device can be easily monitored and stolen. If you are using public Wi-Fi networks, then browsing to any website, make sure your connection is encrypted and secure by looking for the lock icon in the top left of the address bar. Also, always double check that the address you are navigating to is what you expected. Many modern devices, like the ASUS NovaGo, now feature built-in LTE, which offers a more secure experience for your online shopping.
2. Don’t rely on passwords alone
Passwords and user IDs are a staple of cybersecurity, but they can only get you so far. To further ensure your data stays protected, consider using password management and verification apps. They let you use your face, fingerprint, eyes or other methods to access your data across devices. For example, the Microsoft Authenticator app adds an extra level of security with two-step verification that allows you to access your Microsoft account and apps quickly and securely without having to remember a password.
3. Avoid phishing scams
With so many companies emailing promotions, it can feel like your inbox is under assault. In fact, it very well could be. Some of those emails may be phishing scams designed to steal your private information. To protect your data, don’t click on any unfamiliar links and carefully review all notifications from your bank to catch any potentially fraudulent activity.
Remember, scammers can be sophisticated. They may use personalized emails to gain your confidence or replicate the style of a well-known financial services company. If an email or link looks the slightest bit suspicious, don’t click it. Go directly to your bank or other online account to confirm the information independently.
4. Back up your data
If all your data is stored in one place, it’s vulnerable. Bad actors can lock up your device and demand payment to release your files. That’s why backing your data up to the cloud is critical for protecting your files against ransomware attacks. The cloud allows you to safeguard your data and access it from multiple devices. Cloud storage services are secure and can also let you easily transfer your data if you’re upgrading to a new device.
5. Utilize privacy screens
Preventing people from looking over your shoulder and stealing your information is the simplest and easiest way to protect your personal data. When online shopping in public, use privacy screens to hide your information. Some devices, like the HP EliteBook x360 and HP Spectre x360, have integrated privacy screens that instantly shield your screen with the push of a button. If your device doesn’t come with one built in, you can purchase a privacy screen.
6. Keep software current
Using a modern operating system with the latest security updates and built-in anti-virus protection is the best way to ward off unwanted intrusions. Major tech companies continually upgrade software to account for the latest cybersecurity threats so you can be confident your data is protected. By keeping your software current, you can avoid many cyberattacks before they cause problems.
If you’re like most Americans, you probably own two or more computers and have three or more smartphones in your house. As you prepare for traveling during the busy holiday season, you’ll likely plan on taking some of those devices with you. Protect yourself and your devices from cyberattacks during the holidays with this guide.
Personal Device Protection During the Holidays
(Family Features) If you’re like most Americans, you probably own two or more computers and have three or more smartphones in your house. As you prepare for traveling during the busy holiday season, you’ll likely plan on taking some of those devices with you. Protect yourself and your devices from cyberattacks during the holidays with this guide from the experts at Trend Micro, and find more information at trendmicro.com.
In the context of cyber security, an action by an unknowing child can impact the entire family. While there are plenty of parental controls and blocks available, they aren’t foolproof. Educating children about the potential risks and how to avoid them can go a long way toward protecting your family from potential cyber problems. Open up a conversation with your children about cyber security with these tips.
5 Tips to Make Sense of Cyber Security
(Family Features) It’s no secret that kids have a sense of invincibility. While that trait can bring some endearing reminders of the innocence of childhood, it can also have some highly unfortunate consequences. In the context of cyber security, an action by an unknowing child can impact the entire family.
The majority of U.S. households are filled with devices that pose a potential threat to your personal security. In fact, according to the 2016 Global Consumer Security Survey by Trend Micro, nearly half of households have two or more computers and nearly a third have three or more smartphones. That means the opportunities are plentiful for missteps to occur.
Despite the many benefits of a highly connected world, the potential for danger is strong. The same study found that 65 percent of respondents’ computers had been infected with a virus or malware. Other concerns included damage or loss of files, children viewing inappropriate content, cyberbullying and ID or password theft.
While there are plenty of parental controls and blocks available, they aren’t foolproof. Educating children about the potential risks and how to avoid them can go a long way toward protecting your family from potential cyber problems.
Open up a conversation with your children about cyber security with these tips from the experts at Trend Micro:
Explore more ideas to keep your kids and family safe online at internetsafety.trendmicro.com.
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(BPT) - New vehicles are packed full of the latest and greatest technology. Among their many capabilities, today’s vehicles can automatically apply brakes to avoid collisions, maintain a designated following distance behind the car ahead of it and maneuver the vehicle back into its lane if the driver veers out of it. Some cars can even drive and park themselves!
Additionally, in-car Wi-Fi and mobile hotspots allow passengers to connect their computers, tablets and smartphones to the internet from the convenience of the vehicle cabin. Bluetooth allows hands-free use of phones, and infotainment systems let people enjoy their favorite tunes, access apps, navigate and more.
These technological advances provide tremendous benefits for drivers and passengers, but much of this technology can also be used to launch cyberattacks on your vehicle.
“Modern cars are essentially rolling computers and, just as your laptop, smartphone or tablet can be hacked, so can these driving machines,” says Craig Smith, author of The Car Hacker’s Handbook and founder of the Open Garages vehicle research lab.
Millions of today’s vehicles possess vulnerabilities that leave them open to new age methods of theft that don’t require a key or Slim Jim or, worse, situations where drivers no longer have control over their vehicles while driving. Mercury Insurance, one of the nation’s leading auto insurance providers, recently connected with Smith to help keep drivers safe and shed some light on this growing problem.
According to Smith, there are several key vulnerable areas consumers should be aware of, including:
* On-board diagnostics-II (OBD-II) ports;
* Key fobs;
* Infotainment systems (including audio files that owners may have synced for in-car entertainment);
* In-car Wi-Fi;
* Mobile hotspots;
* Navigation systems;
* Smartphones (connected to cars via Bluetooth); and
* Tire pressure monitoring systems.
“There are many factors that go into determining a vehicle’s risk of being hacked,” says Smith, who has worked in the security industry for more than 20 years and with the auto industry for five. “Newer vehicles have what we call a higher ‘attack surface,’ meaning there are more areas that are hackable."
“If you are specifically concerned about remote hackers, as opposed to those who have physical access to your car, then look at the wireless systems your vehicle supports. If your vehicle has telematics, satellite or digital radio, internet, Bluetooth, or wireless key fobs, these wireless services can provide entry points for an attacker over varied distances. This is also true for aftermarket components added to your vehicles, such as dongles plugged into your vehicle to monitor your driving for insurance reasons.”
Local hackers can gain access to a car to unlock it and steal its contents or even start the ignition to steal the vehicle.
To protect against vehicle hacking, Smith recommends disabling wireless services that aren’t being used. Consumers should refer to the information their auto manufacturer provides on vehicle features, decide which ones are important and only enable those options. Those who wish to use a dongle in their vehicle should try to use it sparingly and take it with them when they leave their car.
“The key to protecting your vehicle if it’s deemed at-risk for hacking is to disable the components that have the most risk. For instance, if the radio unit is the culprit you can disable it or replace it,” says Smith. “And while newer vehicles tend to have a larger attack surface, they also have more safety features that can help minimize or avoid injury in a collision, so you should consider that as well.”
Mercury Insurance is helping consumers answer the question “How Hackable is Your Car?” with an infographic that shows the areas of a consumer’s specific vehicle that may be vulnerable to a cyberattack. Visit https://blog.mercuryinsurance.com/how-hackable-is-your-car to learn more.
“We continuously review the automotive marketplace, so we can provide consumers with important information about how to protect themselves, families and property, whether it’s about the dangers of distracted driving, teen driving safety or, now, vehicle hacking,” says Tom Coyne, auto line lead for Mercury Insurance. “And Mercury doesn’t use dongle technology because we don’t want to increase our customers’ risk of a cyberattack, which we think they appreciate.”
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