Cyber security expert Andreas Bohman, assistant vice president of information security for Central Washington University, stands in CWU’s main data center discussing the challenges of keeping data secure on Wednesday. (Brian Myrick / Daily Record)
Information moves through the wires and servers in Central Washington University’s data centers on Wednesday. (Brian Myrick / Daily Record)
Consumer, small business and family-oriented information on cyber security:
The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a clearinghouse of new cyber security threats and data:
The Department of Homeland Security:
- Protect yourself online
Most hacking private individuals suffer is done en masse and targets weak spots in security, and there are basic things individuals can do to protect their digital data that don’t require enlisting a private army of IT experts.
• Get anti-virus software and make sure it’s set to update automatically for the latest viruses. Also, be sure your web browser is up to date and set to update automatically as well.
• Smart phones are just tiny computers, and hackers are taking aim at them too. Anti-virus applications, some free and others paid, can keep hackers looking for targets of opportunity at bay.
• Use strong passwords. Avoid actual words, mix capital and lowercase letters with a smattering of special characters and numbers. Mix passwords up between services and change them several times yearly. Use longer pass phrases when possible. Don’t share it and try to avoid keeping it right next to your computer if you have to write it down.
Yes, the number of passwords adds up, so try saving the best for the most sensitive information and making up mnemonics to remember them.
• Secure your wireless network. Change your router’s default ID — called a “service set identifier” (SSID) or “extended service set identifier” (ESSID ) — from what the manufacturer assigned. Give it a unique name that won’t easily be guessed by others. When choosing its level of security, opt for WPA2, if available, or WPA. Those two are more secure than the WEP encryption option.
• With social networks, watch what you share. Don’t post data that could make you vulnerable, like an address or information about your schedule or routine. If connections post information about you, make sure the combined information is not more than you would be comfortable with strangers knowing. In turn, also be considerate when posting information and photos about your connections as well.
Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 2:00 pm
Thursday, October 17, 2013 2:00 pm.