No matter your business, digitizing your operation is essential for increased workplace communication, productivity, and success. However, with this new digital frontier comes new problems, and even the most internet savvy individual may fall prey to some common issues of cyber security.
4 Cyber Security Tips
If you have ever received an email that appeared official but excessively urgent and requiring immediate action, you may have been a target of phishing. Phishing is a cyberattack method that utilizes email and phone calls as a predatory method to get you to reveal private information.
Whenever you receive an email that asks you to open a document or a phone call that asks for sensitive information, be wary of the source of the information to make sure that it is trustworthy and not a scamming method. Especially within digital communication, opening a document or visiting a link from an untrusted sender can result in your device being infected by a virus.
If you were to find a thumb drive lying on a table within your office, it seems like common sense to plug it in your device to try to find the owner so you could return their device. While this may seem like a kind action, you run the risk of potentially infecting your own device with malware.
An attack method with rising popularity has begun allowing users to plug infected hard drives, flash drives, and smartphones into their own computers without realizing that they infected their own device with harmful malware. Nowadays, Windows and Mac systems will not run programs on a USB stick by default. However, attacks such as BadUSB, make a USB drive appear to be another accessory, such as mouse, and then use that access manipulate your device.
“Think of USB sticks like toothbrushes and then you will not be so quick to pick it up and share it” -Chris Novak, Verizon
Be aware that malware is always evolving, and will never completely leave cyber space. Best form of protection? Back up your device, regularly and often.
While public internet access is a modern convenience and quite often creates an attractive browsing atmosphere on the go, it is best to wait to use your personal devices on secure networks. When checking your email at a café or your bank statement at the library, you run the risk of having your private data stolen or copied. If at all possible, it is highly recommended to wait until you are able to use a private network to do your more sensitive browsing.
Network security should not be taken lightly. Protect your sensitive information by understanding Networking Essentials.
Some of the most unsuspected attacks come from those who interact with us outside of the workplace. In your personal life, it is easy to let down your guard away from the screens and necessary safety within the workplace. However, it is just as important to make sure that you use these safety practices whenever you allow someone to friend you on Facebook or even attend social events.
Through social engineering, individuals will present themselves as nonthreatening, even personable, as they ask you increasingly personal questions. This is not to say to avoid having a social life, but to use extreme caution and vetting with those who you do not know. Best practice always proves to be being mindful of your work and home environments. With the convenience of digital communications and productivity comes the responsibility of enforcing necessary cautions to safeguard yourself and your information.
If you are having computer trouble, or are unprepared for future attacks, contact Intellithought for help.
Article written by Julian Raiford, edited by Rebecca Cox