Cyber Security 101
How to be secure…with the internet
Raise your hand if you have multiple online accounts? *Raises hand*
Raise your hand if you use the same password for said multiple accounts? *Slowly raises hand*
Raise your hand if you think a cyber-attack can’t happen to you? *Even slower raises hand*
If you *slowly* raised your hand to any of these three questions, you are not alone. BUT that’s where we come in. We’re going to give you some tips to help make you safe on the internet.
Recently here at First Community Mortgage, we hosted former FBI Special Agent Scott Augenbaum. He told us a lot of scary stories that made us want to immediately change all our passwords and never use the internet again! Kidding, but really its serious stuff.
We have a huge responsibility to keep our customers and employee’s personal information safe and secure here at FCM. Which is why we take cyber security very seriously. We dedicated the whole month of May to Cyber Security Awareness month and ended it with ice cream socials at several of our branches throughout the country!
Here’s a list of our top 8 ways to stay secure thanks to Scott Augenbaum.
1. Don’t click and surf
Think before you click on a link or open an attachment, become a human firewall and question every email.
2. Get some type of Virus Detection System
They won’t stop everything, but they could stop something! Virus writers can make up to 50,000 new viruses a day. UGH.
3. Password Strength is important
You may think you’re pulling a fast one on hackers if you use your first pets name like this, SpArKlEs234, but who knew we were wrong!
*Strong passwords need to be longer than twelve characters in length with capital and lower-case letters, numbers, and a special symbol and NO dictionary words. Think passphrase instead of password.
Step 1: Think of a phrase, example “I love amazon so much.”
Step 2: Pick a double-digit number and symbol.
Step 3: Take the number and symbol, and put that first.
Step 4: Turn your phrase into an acronym, using the letter I as the number 1 to make it extra hard and mix up capitalizing some of the letters. Then you’ll take your number and flip it so instead of 25 it’ll say 52.
Step 5: This is what it’ll look like: 25*1LasM52
4. Mission Critical accounts
Examples could be, bank accounts, loans, personal email, anything with VERY important information you don’t want the bad guys to get! These are the accounts that really need passphrase passwords.
5. Update your operating systems
Don’t keep hitting the “Remind me tomorrow” button because let’s be real, you’ll probably just click that reminder again tomorrow and so the cycle continues.
6. Multifactor authentication
This is a MUST for Facebook, LinkedIn, Outlook 365, Gmail, LogMeIn, VPNs, and financial accounts when offered. (www.twofactorauth.org)
7. Back it up!
Back up your mission critical files on a daily basis. Yes, this may seem tedious, but let’s think about it, while you cook dinner after work why not plug your phone in, sync, save, back up, repeat!
8. Password Storage
Just don’t do it. Especially in your browser. Same with credit card numbers. You know when that little box pops up that says, “Would you like to save your credit card number for convenience?” Picture someone sitting in a coffee shop with an evil laugh, mwuahing his way into your computer and stealing your information!
*It’s the same as leaving your keys in the car, according to Scott Augenbaum! Instead, write it down in a book, lock it up in a filing cabinet. OR create a spreadsheet with the passwords using pseudonyms that will help you remember the password, without using the word.
Remember, it can happen to you! Cyber security issues happen, Every. Single. Day. Once the bad guys get your stuff, it’s usually too late. Don’t fall into the traps. Be smart and safe when using the internet!
Scott Augenbaum’s contact information: