Best Practices – PC Security Tips
Scammers, hackers and identity thieves are all looking for ways to steal our personal information. Below are steps you can take to help protect yourself.
- Never share your password and avoid writing them down.
- Have separate passwords for work related and non-work related accounts.
- Frequently change passwords for sites that contain sensitive information like financial, health or credit card data.
- Do not use the same password for every website. If criminals are able to hack into one account; they then have immediate access to all of your online accounts and information
- Make your passwords long and seemingly random. Stay away from using words in a dictionary or those that can be easily guessed — birthdays, relatives' names, hometowns and even favorite sports teams. And, of course, avoid the ultra-obvious: ”Password“ is not a good password. Neither is “123456.”
- Be a little creative and base your password on a phrase. For example, “fourscore and seven years ago” (from the Gettysburg Address) could be turned into: 4sc&7yrA or 4*20+7ya. Another example could be, “Who ya gonna call?” (from the Ghostbusters movie) could be turned into: Wygc?GB.
Securing your Computer
- Lock, log off or shutdown your computer before leaving it unattended.
- Make sure the computer you are using has active and updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed on it.
- Don’t install unauthorized, unknown or unsolicited software.
- Never leave your mobile device unattended and keep it secure in a safe location when not in use.
- Set your computer to “auto update” all software for best protection. This includes but is not limited to:
- Operating system (Windows, Linux, iOS, etc.)
- Web Browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.)
- Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash
If a criminal is able to obtain your email address, you could become a target of a phishing attempt. Phishing occurs when someone spoofs the email address of a trustworthy source in an attempt to trick you into providing personal information or unknowingly install a virus or malware onto your PC. The following are several tips to help prevent becoming a victim of a phishing attack.
- Be cautious when receiving unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails. Do not respond to an email requesting personal information or that asks you to "verify your information" or to "confirm your user-id and password."
- Do not open any attachments or links contained in suspicious emails. Malware is often sent as an attachment from a compromised email account.
- Always manually enter the company’s website in your Web browser or call the company to provide the requested information.