Posts Tagged ‘ Internet ’

Tips For Securing Your Social Media Accounts

cyber security awareness logoOctober is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which highlights the importance of cybersecurity and online safety.

One of the biggest online presence that today’s society has is on social media platforms. Because they are being linked to an increasing number of applications on phones and other devices, it becomes even more necessary to secure them.

Securing your personal social media accounts

The different social media platforms have security features that you should take advantage of. Here are some tips for keeping your accounts secure:

  • Close the accounts that you’re not using. Forgotten social media accounts may be compromised without being noticed. Hackers can leverage these and access other accounts linked to it, like your email.
  • Check what apps are connected to your social media. Do you use Facebook or Google to sign in for any other applications? Assess if this type of access is necessary.
  • Practice good password hygiene. Use different passwords for your social media accounts, and also make sure each password is complex and unusual. Enabling 2-factor authentication can prevent unauthorized parties from accessing your accounts.
  • Keep your mobile apps updated. Make sure you have the latest version of the platform you’re using. Security patches protect you from the newest known threats.
  • Use a unique email for your social media accounts. If possible, create a whole new email specifically for social media accounts so that if you are compromised, the hackers won’t have access to any valuable information.

Securing corporate accounts

Social media is also used as the public face of enterprises or even entrepreneurs who use it as an advertising tool or an avenue to establish their brand. Hackers sometimes take over a company’s social media to promote their own brand, gain followers, or even spread a specific message. This form of hacktivism is an ongoing problem, especially with Twitter accounts.

Here are some tips to keep corporate social media accounts secure:

  • Monitor your social media regularly—keep an eye on what’s happening on all your social media platforms.
  • Limit access to only the necessary people—the fewer people with access, the better. This makes it easier to control the posts and avoid any deliberate sabotage.
  • Separate what is personal and what is professional—you don’t want to accidentally post something personal on a corporate account.
  • Audit which tools have access to your accounts—regulate tools that help with posting since they might be vulnerable to attacks.
  • Be aware of the latest security solutions—some platforms might be moving away from passwords soon, or they may be implementing a new security feature that you may want to implement.
  • Like all users, practice good password hygiene and also implement strict policies about patching and updating.

Source: www.trendmicro.com

Online Enemies

As a bank IT Manager, I get the question “Why do people write viruses, spyware, or other forms of hacking on the Internet.”  The answer isn’t always clear because everyone uses the Internet in different ways, but the most common reasons that I can easily explain are:

  1. for Money
  2. for Prestige
  3. for Fun
  4. to Cause Damage

Realistically, many forms of crime fit into those same reasons; Trend Micro recently posted this nice graphic depicting the types of attacks that come from online “enemies” both near and far: http://blog.trendmicro.com/know-your-enemies-online.

By: Jason Wieland, IT Manager

Security Tip

Security research firm creates website to check for compromised accounts:

Two researchers from HP Tipping Point have created a website http://www.pwnedlist.com to help determine if a username or email address has been compromised by hackers and dumped to the Internet.  The hacker term is pwned, which is a computer gaming term spoken as “owned”.  The website is a secure resource and will not give any of the account details.  It is simply a way to raise red flags so that compromised account passwords are changed, etc.  There are almost 5 million records in the database!

If anyone has a positive hit please feel free to contact me at Citizens Bank Minnesota. It is good to let your bank know, but I am also more than willing to be an advisor: https://www.citizensmn.com

Anyone who wants to see more news about current investigations and top IT security issues can also follow these resources:

By: Jason Wieland, IT Manager

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