Personal Security Techniques: A Guide to Security Awareness

Security Awareness
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Adware is software which installs itself onto your PC with the intention of promoting adverts depending on the information it captures about the victim. How does Adware get onto my PC?

There are many ways in which Adware can get on your PC. The most common way is through attachments in unsolicited e-mails. When you open the attachment, it will install itself on your PC and might give someone else access to your computer while you are connected to the Internet. Why is Adware used? Adware programmes will often pop up adverts depending on the searches you conduct.

This is a source of revenue for Adware authors as they will get a small amount of money every time an advert shows.

6 Common Phishing Attacks and How to Protect Against Them

If this operates on a global scale, the authors will soon become rich in a very short time. Summary of possible problems caused by these threats: Every computer uses a piece of software called an Operating System OS. An OS is the most important software that runs on your computer. The OS performs many essential tasks for your computer such as storing and retrieving data, interfacing with other programs and hardware, and other functions. It controls the memory needed for computer processes, manages disk space, controls peripheral devices, and allows you to communicate with your computer.

As systems are used and new technologies are released, the OS requires software patches and upgrades to resolve any security issues that are discovered. An unpatched OS can become an entry point for an intruder attack. You need to update your OS, your security software and all other programs on your computer on a regular basis. Install and Update Anti-Virus Software.

Anti-virus software programs are developed to detect and remove computer viruses and other virus-related software from your PC. Anti-virus software protects your PC from viruses that can destroy your data, slow down your PC's performance, cause a crash, or even allow spammers to send e-mail through your account.

Anti-virus software works by scanning your computer and your incoming e-mail for viruses and then deleting any effected mails. Ensure that your anti-virus definition files are up-to-date and ensure that automatic update settings are configured and that updates are being applied. Install and Update Anti-Spyware Software. Spyware software monitors or controls your computer use and is usually installed on your computer without your consent. It is used to send you pop-up ads, redirect your computer to websites, monitor your Internet surfing or record your keystrokes to obtain your passwords, which in turn could lead to the theft of your personal information.

A computer may be infected with spyware if it: Do not trust any attachment to be what it claims to be or from whom it says it is from. All of the information in the header of the e-mail, including the identity of the sender can be forged and the true identity of the attached file may also be disguised. It is best to treat all incoming attachments with suspicion. Never open any attachments unless you are expecting them and know who they are from. A firewall helps in keeping hackers away from using your computer to send out your personal information without your permission.

A firewall is like a guard, watching for outside attempts to access your system and blocking traffic to and from sources you do not permit. A firewall comes between you and the Internet, monitoring what comes in and what goes out. By configuring your firewall to disallow all traffic except what you are aware of and have specifically permitted, you can protect yourself from both hostile intruders and information leaks.

A firewall is an essential part of your on-line security. Make Back-ups of Important Files and Folders. Any kind of digital storage is susceptible to failure. It cannot be predicted, but one can certainly plan for it.

It is worth the while to get into the habit of making periodical back-ups. Back-ups are the last line of defence against hardware failure, damage caused by a security breach or just accidental deletion of data. Keep a copy of important files on removable media. Use software back-up tools if available and store the back-up disks in another location in a safe place. A good password should not only be difficult to crack but also easy to be remembered. Passwords are an important aspect of computer security.

They provide front line protection to computer accounts. It is your responsibility to safeguard your password. Never share your password s with anyone. If you share your password, you are granting someone else access to your information. Protect your Personal Information. To an identity thief, your personal information can provide instant access to your financial accounts, your credit record and other assets. If you think no one would be interested in your personal information, think again.

Anyone can be a victim of identity theft. Millions of people become victims of identity theft every year. One way by which criminals get your personal information is by lying about who they are, to convince you to share your account numbers, passwords, and other information so they can get your money or buy things in your name.

The scam is called phishing. Criminals send e-mails, text, or pop-up messages that appear to come from your bank, a government agency, an on-line seller or another organisation with which you do business. The message asks you to click to a website or call a phone number to update your account information or claim a prize or benefit. It might suggest something bad will happen if you don't respond quickly with your personal information. Some identity thieves have stolen personal information by hacking into large databases managed by large corporations.

Don't give out your personal information unless you first know how it's going to be used and how it will be protected. If you are shopping on-line, don't provide your personal or financial information through a company's website until you have checked for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser's status bar or a website URL that begins "https: Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some scammers have forged security icons.

And some hackers have managed to breach sites that took appropriate security precautions. Every day, millions of computer users share files on-line. File-sharing can give people access to a wealth of information, including music, games, and software. File-sharing will connect your computer to an informal network of other computers. Millions of users could be connected to each other through this software at one time.

However, file-sharing can have a number of risks. If you don't check the proper settings, you could allow access not only to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive, like your e-mail messages, photos and other personal documents. In addition, you may be unknowingly downloading malware or pornography labelled as something else. Or you may download material that is protected by copyright laws, which would mean you could be breaking the law.

Some spammers search the Internet for unprotected computers they can control and use anonymously to send spam, turning them into a robot network, known as a botnet also known as a zombie army. A botnet is made up of thousands of home computers sending e-mails by the millions. Most spam is sent remotely this way.

Malware may be hidden in free software applications. It can be appealing to download free software like games, file-sharing programs, etc. But sometimes just visiting a website or downloading files may turn your computer into a bot. Another way spammers take over your computer is by sending you an e-mail with attachments, links or images which, if you click will install hidden malicious software. Be cautious about opening any attachments or downloading files from e-mails you receive.

Don't open an e-mail attachment — even if it looks like it's from a friend or co-worker — unless you are expecting it or know what it contains. Secure your Wireless Network. An unsecured wireless network can give hackers access to your computer in order to steal your personal information or to upload malware onto your computer. Your wireless device manual should guide you on how to implement these security settings.

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Personal Security Techniques: A Guide to Security Awareness [Jesse Wallace] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A highly practical guide to . Personal Security Techniques: A Guide to Security Awareness - Kindle edition by Jesse Wallace. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC.

Connect with us Contact us Careers Freedom of Information. Must be at least eight characters in length. Must contain a character from three of the following four character sets: A to Z - Numeric digits e.

Should not be a word in any language, slang, dialect, jargon, etc. Should not include your name, common names of people or places, technical jargon, repeating sequences and keyboard sequences. Should not be written down or stored on-line. A final step is to provide an opportunity to earn an advanced degree in security. Many universities now offer a master's degree in cybersecurity. In my previous job, I worked with a large university in California to tailor a degree program that supported the company's security culture.

Once again, put your money where your mouth is and sponsor the first group of students. It sends a positive message to the entire organization. Security community is the backbone of sustainable security culture. Community provides the connections between people across the organization. Security community assists in bringing everyone together against the common problem, and eliminates an "us versus them" mentality.

Security community is achieved by understanding the different security interest levels within the organization: Security advocates are those people with a down-home passion for making things secure. These are the leaders within your community. The security aware are not as passionate but realize they need to contribute to making security better. The sponsors are those from management who help to shape the security direction. Gather all of these folks together into a special interest group focused on security.

Security community can manifest as one-on-one mentoring and weekly or monthly meetings to discuss the latest security issues. It can even become a yearly conference, where the best and brightest from the organization have a chance to share their knowledge and skills on a big stage. Last, but certainly not least, is fun.

What kind of security culture do you have?

Here's what you can learn from companies leading the charge on DevSecOps, as well as pitfalls to be aware of. Find your own vulnerabilities before someone else does. You need to update your OS, your security software and all other programs on your computer on a regular basis. That free anti-virus software could turn out to be a virus in itself. It is not something that grows in a positive way organically.

For far too long people have associated security with boring training or someone saying no all the time. To cement a sustainable security culture, build fun and engagement into all the process parts. If you have specific security training, ensure that it is not a boring voice over a PowerPoint presentation. If you engage your community through events, do not be afraid to laugh and goof around some. In my previous role, at each monthly security community event, we started the meeting off with a game of security trivia with a different security category each month.

Building a healthy security culture

We did hackers in the movies one month and security news in another. This is just an example of how to bring fun and engagement into the process. Pick a fun theme and parody it—we did Game of Thrones.

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Give gamification a try. Throw a phishing writing workshop and have your employees write a phishing email for the company. The options are endless when you start to think outside the box. Of course, every organization has a security culture. If they say they don't, they are either lying or afraid to admit they have a bad security culture. The good news is that any security culture can positively change how the organization approaches security.

But culture change takes time, so don't expect your members of your organization to overnight become pen-testing Ninjas that write secure code while they sleep. Have your say in the comments section below: How has your company developed a security culture, good or bad? Skip to main content. Our Contributors About Subscribe. Nurture the Ninjas within. State of Security Operations Get this market overview and state of the nation on Application Security by BizTechInsights to see how embracing DevOps can deliver app sec.

The State of Application Security in the Enterprise. Learn about how to create consistent data security across hybrid IT with data-centric security. Workers now have anywhere-access and organizations are not keeping data safe.

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Here's how to manage access to your most sensitive information. Protecting the Crown Jewels: Subscribe to TechBeacon Get fresh whitepapers, reports, case studies, and articles weekly. Information Security Info Sec. And it does not have to be perfect. Take one step at a time. The moral of the story: Find your own vulnerabilities before someone else does. Here's a walkthrough of the discovery, patching, and disclosure of the Kubernetes subpath vulnerability CVE How symlinks pwned Kubernetes and how we fixed it Get on the right path. Whitelisting, blacklisting, and your security strategy: It's not either-or Choices, choices And make sure that your infrastructure is still using supported versions of Kubernetes.

Improving quality and catching defects improves other areas, so QA's objectives support the main goal of app sec: Spear-phishing is especially commonplace on social media sites like LinkedIn , where attackers can use multiple sources of information to craft a targeted attack email. To protect against this type of scam, organizations should conduct ongoing employee security awareness training that, among other things, discourages users from publishing sensitive personal or corporate information on social media.

Spear phishers can target anyone in an organization, even top executives. To counter that threat, as well as the risk of CEO fraud, all company personnel — including executives — should undergo ongoing security awareness training. Organizations should also consider amending their financial policies, so that no one can authorize a financial transaction via email. That means an attacker can redirect users to a malicious website of their choice even if the victims entered in the correct website name.

To protect against pharming attacks, organizations should encourage employees to enter in login credentials only on HTTPS-protected sites. Companies should also implement anti-virus software on all corporate devices and implement virus database updates, along with security upgrades issued by a trusted Internet Service Provider ISP , on a regular basis.

While some phishers no longer bait their victims, others have specialized their attack emails according to an individual company or service.