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Being Smart & Social: The Importance of Cyber Hygiene on Social Media

Being Smart & Social: The Importance of Cyber Hygiene on Social Media

Blog post originally published on April 10, 2019 as "Social Media Users Should Consider Their Personal Information". Updated September 27, 2019.

Social media has completely changed the dynamics of how people communicate with one another. In an age where a picture can appear on thousands of devices all over the world, privacy has become a major concern for anyone using social media. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans over 18-years-old use some social media platform. 

In relation to this increase, the number of cybercriminals looking to steal money, information, and identities has also risen. Privacy concerns are prevalent in today’s social media environment, and users must be aware of how their data is vulnerable.  For most people social media is a place where they can share their civil and political views, personal health information, learn scientific information, engage in job, familial, and society-related activities, and where they get most of their news. Between social media and online commerce, more personally identifiable information is shared with corporations than you would ever knowingly share with your best friends. Think about that.

As social media usage increases, (we currently spend 30% of our online hours on social media), we are sharing more and more personal information. App developers create more third party integrations that require you to share your personal info in order to use their service. But the more this happens, the easier it is to lose control over who has your data, how their storing it, and how they're monetizing it.

Why Stay on Social Media If It Makes You Vulnerable?

If you are at the beach and a lifeguard told you that they saw sharks in the water, would you wade around waist-deep trying to spot the sharks? No chance. We constantly warn people to protect their personal information, and they consistently don’t. Why? Because we all tend to think of data and privacy in small, targeted ways, but we now know that data breaches and big data gathering happen to anyone and everyone. While personally motivated cyber attacks occur, it's much more likely that your privacy will be compromised by a larger scale attack.

Here are some great tips for staying safe on social media, as posted by the Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Division, for more detailed information, check out the CISA website.

  • Limit the amount of personal information you post 
  • Remember that the internet is a public resource 
  • Be wary of strangers 
  • Be skeptical 
  • Evaluate your settings 
  • Be wary of third-party applications 
  • Use strong passwords
  • Check privacy policies 
  • Keep software, particularly your web browser, up to date 
  • Use and maintain anti-virus software 

Remember, less is more on social. Sure, your "Likes" may establish your online personality, style and preferences, but you might find yourself the target of more than just savvy marketers.

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Back-to-School Cyber Safety Tips

Back-to-School Cyber Safety Tips

The back-to-school season is upon us, and many students return to the classroom excited to see their friends, fully charged cellphones in hand.  The luxury of having easy internet access has made our children more attached to their devices, and at an increasingly early age.

Children are innocent, desire independence, and are innately curious, and so they are most vulnerable to predators on the internet. Protecting our children and sensitive personal information can feel like an impossible task, so here are some useful tips to get you started, regardless of your child's age.

 

 

Internet Safety Tips for your Elementary Schooler

  • Talk to your children about safety and conduct on the internet. Explain your expectations and the consequences if they don’t meet your expectations
  • Be in the room with kids when they’re online. They’re less likely to curiously wander to an unsafe site.
  • Use Parental Controls and Child Safety apps like Net Nanny & Qustodio for extra protection
  • Set well-defined limits of web-enabled devices

Internet Safety Tips for your Middle Schooler

Internet Safety Tips for your High Schooler

  • Never give out personal information online
  • Talk about Importance of password protection
  • Friend and follow, but don’t stalk
  • Be a social media mentor

Are there any other guidelines your family uses to promote safety online? Share them with us in the comments!

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Network Security is Crucial for Every Organization

Network Security is Crucial for Every Organization

Avoiding risk is important for every business and with technology being omnipresent in most businesses, technology-based risks have grown in concert. As a result, the modern business owner and IT administrators need to understand the new risks and how to proactively work toward avoiding them.

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Fishing for Answers to Keep Phishing Attacks from Sinking Your Business

Fishing for Answers to Keep Phishing Attacks from Sinking Your Business

Phishing attacks have been in the social consciousness now for a while, and for good reason: it is the predominant way that hackers gain access to secured networks and data. Unfortunately, awareness of an issue doesn’t always result in preventing attacks. In this case, hackers get more aggressive, and by blanketing everyone under a seemingly limitless phishing net, 57 billion phishing emails go out every year. If a fraction of those emails accomplish their intended goal, the hackers on the other end of them really make out.

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Is NotPetya the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History?

Is NotPetya the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History?

Crippled ports. Paralyzed corporations. Frozen government agencies. How a single piece of code crashed the world. In 2017, the malware NotPetya spread from the servers of an unassuming Ukrainian software firm to some of the largest businesses worldwide, paralyzing their operations.

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Cyberbullying is a Serious Issue Everywhere

Cyberbullying is a Serious Issue Everywhere

As technology has evolved, so have our capabilities of using it. While this has led to great improvements in how we can live our lives, it has also made it much easier for us to torment and harass one another. This is a huge problem, and growing, so it is important to know how to take a stand against it - both at home, and in the workplace.

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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybercrime is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. From the largest enterprise to the individual, it can affect anyone, anywhere. To help ensure the cybersecurity of American citizens and their businesses, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies work together every October to raise awareness about the threats people face online through a series of educational events and activities.

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How to protect your systems from BlueBorne attacks

How to protect your systems from BlueBorne attacks

Yesterday we published an article on the BlueBorne vulnerability which targets multiple systems such as Android, iOS, Windows and Linux. To follow up, here's a great article provided by vulners.com as to how you can protect yourself from this intrusion. Armis Labs have also released an Android App “BlueBorne Vulnerability Scanner” to detect devices that are vulnerable to BlueBorne.

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Beware: Avoiding the Hurricane Harvey Charity Fraud

Beware: Avoiding the Hurricane Harvey Charity Fraud

Over the weekend we’ve seen Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf of Texas, especially Houston, where many of Americans are in need of help. Naturally, we all want to do what we can in donating to charities directly affecting the well-being of those affected. Unfortunately, we also have to be aware of the scammers of the world looking to make a quick buck off those generous enough to donate.

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Password Manager OneLogin Hacked Exposing User Information

Password Manager OneLogin Hacked Exposing User Information

If you use the password manager OneLogin, you're in for some bad news. Today the company is stating a hacker broke into its systems for the “US operating region” and stole sensitive user information.

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Important! Defend Yourself from Largest Ransomware Outbreak in History

Important! Defend Yourself from Largest Ransomware Outbreak in History

A new ransomware called “WannaCry” is spreading rapidly around the world, with reports that on May 12, 2017, people in 74 countries have been hit with more than 45,000 reported attacks. The outbreak is focused in Russia and Europe, but has spread rapidly to all parts of the globe.

Cyber-security experts are saying although the attack has been halted over the weekend that we can expect to see another large scale attack as early as today (Monday, 05/15/2017).

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Intel Announces Critical Vulnerability Within AMT Chipsets, What Should You Do?

Intel Announces Critical Vulnerability Within AMT Chipsets, What Should You Do?

Intel recently announced a critical vulnerability that affects its remote management features built into business-class Intel chipsets. If exploited, this bug could allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected machine by using Intel AMT features.

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Sophisticated Phishing Attack Hits Google Docs

Sophisticated Phishing Attack Hits Google Docs

A sophisticated phishing attack emerged on Wednesday, 05/03/2017, disguising itself on what appears to be a Google Doc. The sender invites you to open the document in Google Docs in turn will redirect you to a page looking identical to the Google sign-in screen. This is not the sign-in screen. What you’re redirected to is a third-party web app that looks exactly like Google that’s simply been named Google Docs! As a rule of thumb, you should always be checking where the mail is being sent from before opening ANY document, and this is a prime example.

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Tip of the Week: 12 Security Rules Every PC User Should Follow

Tip of the Week: 12 Security Rules Every PC User Should Follow

While you are probably spending a fair amount of time thinking about your business’ security, can you confidently say the same about those that you’ve employed? Unfortunately, your workers may not put much thought into network security. This could very possibly lead to some severe issues potentially harming your business operations.

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How Rogue Software Makes PC Problems Worse

How Rogue Software Makes PC Problems Worse

It’s difficult to know what you can and can’t trust in the realm of cybersecurity. However, you’re likely to trust your own security solution. Yet, even this could be a devastating oversight, as some malware masquerades as your security software.

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If You Get a Call Asking "Can You Hear Me Now?" Don't Respond, Just Hang Up

If You Get a Call Asking "Can You Hear Me Now?" Don't Respond, Just Hang Up

The modern scam appears to be getting more and more creative by the day, and here’s a perfect example. The FTC just sent out an alert on March 21 regarding the latest simply called “Can you hear me now”. Below you’ll find information as provided by the FTC.

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Cybercrimes on the Rise for SMB's

Cybercrimes on the Rise for SMB's

Over the years, we’ve seen many cyber-attacks on large corporations and entities making the headline news: Target, Yahoo, Sony, Staples among many others. Although these are the most newsworthy stories, cyber-attacks are not exclusive to only the big players, in fact, small businesses are increasingly becoming the target of hackers.

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Rewards R’ Us Account Breach

Rewards R’ Us Account Breach

On the morning of Friday, February 3, 2017, the Toys “R” Us IT security team identified an attempt to gain unauthorized access to the Reward “R" Us accounts between the time period of November 11, 2016 and January 17, 2017. Below you can find further information from the IT security on what happened, what information was involved, what the IT security team is doing and what you can do.

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GMail will no longer allow the sending of JavaScript files

GMail will no longer allow the sending of JavaScript files

There should be few reasons to send a JavaScript file (.js) through email, but if you do find yourself trying to send, you may run into some trouble. Starting in February of 2017, Gmail will block all .js files. Gmail is even able to detect .js files within a compressed file such as ZIP, TGZ, GZ, RAR, TAR, etc..

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