You won’t find a Hallmark card for it, but trust me – October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! And you can thank viewer and patron Matt Lemon… or mattlemon as John likes to call him… for suggesting this show AND helping to write it. He’s a super cool guy. Go follow him at twitter.com/mattlemon. Or google.com/+matthewlemon.
Security for Computers
Here’s the deal. You know that criminals could access your bank accounts online. Or that you could unknowingly infect your company’s computer network with a damaging virus. But did you know you could easily become part of a criminal botnet that could be responsible for stealing millions of dollars? Hmm…Does that mean YOU’RE a criminal??
That’s a different segment. THIS show is about how to avoid all of it!
First of all, you can do a few basic things. Update that antivirus software and your operating software! Don’t open email attachments or click on URLs from people you don’t know. Use strong passwords. Watch out for those privacy settings on social media!
And don’t roll your eyes at me! I see that. Even though you KNOW you’re supposed to do it… DO YOU?!
You have to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to use your digital information and technology against you.
Security for Mobile Devices
Now. Our mobile devices. You know you want to keep and protect all those selfies on your phone or stored up in the cloud! I mean, this stuff is important!! So how do you protect those? Well, for starters, the best way is to encrypt all the things! Use the built in options to encrypt everything on your mobile devices. Both iOS and Android support it and despite other issues with iOS 8, the encryption is improved.
You’ve heard us say it a LOT. But I’m going to say it again. You can stop others from accessing your information by using unique hard-to-guess passwords for every device and account. A password management tool will do the trick nicely. Both John P and I use 1Password. With this service, you don’t need to remember your passwords anymore, so make them as long and as complex as you like. BUT, that doesn’t mean that you don’t ever need to change them! Change them anytime there’s been an attack on a service you use.
Look at apps’ permissions before downloading. Are they asking for access to unnecessary stuff? And check your privacy settings! They can change almost weekly.
Encryption, Backups, and the Cloud
Encrypt sensitive files before sending them to the cloud. Use something like boxcryptor or cloudfogger. They work with Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box. Better still, there’s a free version AND it supports Windows, Mac and all your favourite mobile devices. If someone ever manages to hack their way into your account and get at your files, they’d have to find a way to decrypt them to get at the data. If you have to use public or open WiFi that you can’t completely trust, encrypt your sessions online – always use HTTPS for browsing or even better… a Virtual Private Network like FreeVPN.
And hey… you could send your photos to the cloud in an effort to back your stuff up. Most mobile cloud apps have the option to sync your photos with whichever cloud service you’re using. Bit Torrent Sync even allows you to backup stuff to one of your other devices without having to store it in the cloud at all, keeping it safe on your machines. Love that!!
Enable two-factor authentication for services like iCloud, Twitter, and Facebook. If someone tries to log in from an unfamiliar device they’ll need your password AND a challenge code to get in. So many services support two factor now that there’s no excuse not to use it.
Wondering what cyber-security issues are trending worldwide? Check out VirusRadar.com for realtime threat information.
Finding Bugs for Google
Finally, how would you like a $15,000 check from Google? They’re offering a bounty for security bugs in Chrome. Google has already paid out $1.25 million dollars for more than 700 security bug reports and they have just upped the range of rewards from $500 to $15,000 per report, depending on the severity of the security bug that’s identified. You can also earn an additional reward for offering a patch for the bug you’ve identified. Details are here.
Sponsored by Citrix GoToAssist
Speaking of mobile devices and security, when you use GoToAssist Remote Support, you can give your clients live IT support or fix employee problems from any computer or mobile device! And… it’s SECURE. And it’s cloud based so it’s super easy to setup and use. And they want to give you free stuff! If you sign up today, you’ll get another Citrix tool for free for 6 months. But that’s only till October 10th, so hurry it up! GoToAssist.com.