Cybersecurity is the body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. One of the most problematic elements of cybersecurity is the quickly and constantly evolving nature of security risks. The traditional approach has been to focus most resources on the most crucial system components and protect against the biggest known threats, which necessitated leaving some less important system components undefended and some less dangerous risks not protected against. Such an approach is insufficient in the current environment.
Steps You Can Take to Minimize Your Chances of an Incident.
- Set strong passwords, change them regularly, and don’t share them with anyone
- Do not include your name, your kids' or pets' names, or other well-known information about yourself in your password;
- Avoid using common words in your passwords or passphrases. Instead, break up words with numbers and punctuation marks or symbols. For example, @ can replace the letter "A" and an exclamation point (!) can replace the letters "I" and "L"; and
- Use a combination of upper and lower case letters.
- Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates
- Maintain an open dialogue with your friends, family, colleagues and community about internet safety
- Use privacy settings and limit the amount of personal information you post online
- Be cautious about offers online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
You know that viruses are bad for your system, but they are just one type of malicious software. Broadly speaking, malware is any software developed to disrupt your computer or device's normal functioning. Malware is often used to steal, to spy, or to destroy. It can target your personal information, corrupt your files, spam your contacts, use your computer for nefarious purposes, or even render it useless.
Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system's screen or by locking the users' files unless a ransom is paid. More modern ransomware families, collectively categorized as crypto-ransomware, encrypt certain file types on infected systems and forces users to pay the ransom through certain online payment methods to get a decrypt key.
Phishing is a fraudulent attempt, usually made through email, to steal your personal information. The best way to protect yourself from phishing is to learn how to recognize a phish. Phishing emails usually appear to come from a well-known organization and ask for your personal information — such as credit card number, social security number, account number or password. Often times phishing attempts appear to come from sites, services and companies with which you do not even have an account. In order for Internet criminals to successfully "phish" your personal information, they must get you to go from an email to a website. Phishing emails will almost always tell you to click a link that takes you to a site where your personal information is requested. Legitimate organizations would never request this information of you via email.
- Identity Theft Resource Guide
- Identity Theft Hotline
- Checklist for Protecting Your Identity
- Fact Sheet on Phishing
- Identity Theft Victim Kit