Free Wifi, Phishing and Device Security

Below is some information that I hope you will find useful or at least interesting. Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know.

Recently, the Internet that we all know and use was estimated to contain 19 Terabytes of data. Estimates of the web that we don’t know or use (Also known as the Dark Web, it contains content not indexed in search engines, illegal commerce sites, etc.) consists of about 7.5 Terabytes. Many of the Internet bad guys use the Dark Web to help their activities remain secret and anonymous. Below are some tips to help each of Protect Yourself from the Bad Guys:

Using Free Wi-Fi: How to reduce the chance that intruders can compromise your phone or computer when you are connected to public wireless networks.
Make sure you are connecting to the correct wireless network. Hackers often try to put up fake websites….often changing O to 0 for instance. Check with the owner of the shop or vendor to make sure the name of the wireless site.
Use only websites that have HTTPS before their WWW address.
Only connect to Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt data between sites where you are uploading sensitive information. PureVPN and KeepSolid VPN Unlimited are possible solutions.
Turn of all file and printer sharing options on your smartphone and tablet.

Phishing: This is a serious threat.
Never click on suspicious links. If you receive a link that seems unfamiliar in an email don’t click on it. Phishers will often pose as legitimate websites to try to trick you into logging in, so they can steal your user credentials.
Be suspicious if the request for your login has a specific time frame or is conveying a sense of urgency.
Watch out for bad grammar and bad spelling. Phishing emails are known to contain spelling and grammatical errors.
Examine email closely. If you see a link or an address, hover your mouse over the link or address (the URL).

Device Security – Tablets, SmartPhones, Laptop

Protect all your devices with a strong password and log out of your devices when you walk away from your office.
Use biometric security (touchID, fingerprint scanner, facial recognition) when possible.

Use encryption for your hard drives or thumb drives. This will make it far more difficult for someone to use your data if they steal it.
If you use your devices when traveling, keep them in your possession at all times. It only takes a thief less than a minute to steal and access your device.

Malware – Viruses

Keep your software up dated. Windows patches and security fixes are extremely important.
Back up your data on a regular basis. Buying a larger external hard drive to copy your data to is an inexpensive insurance policy for your data.
Use Antivirus Software. Licensed antivirus (less than $50 per year) is a better solution than the free solutions such as Kaspersky, AVG, etc.

Identity Theft

Check your banking and credit card statements weekly. If something looks off, call your bank or financial firm.
Keep a close eye on your credit score.
If you think you have an issue, then place a fraud alert or credit freeze.
If you have been a victim of a fraud, file a police report.

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