By Barbra Pleadwell
Thank you Windward O‘ahu Rotary Club, for hosting me today. Each time we present on this topic, it forces us to update our knowledge about all things emerging online.
For talks about new media, our firm tries not to use traditional handouts. Rather, we use the medium to provide a number of resources. Here are some of our favorites:
(Scroll past the videos and links for cybersecurity tips we helped create for the National Cyber Security Alliance.)
Better Business Bureau Small Business Advice: Five Tips for Ensuring Social Media Success in 2010
Mashable.com (Guide to social media)
Social Media Club Hawaii
Learn to stay safe online – National Cyber Security Alliance homepage
PBS documentary digital world
For some educational, yet funny videos on staying safe online, check out:
Don’t Be a Billy
Clip from the South Park FaceBook/SNS episode.
Just for fun, here’s my Granny’s quilt on YouTube:
Time Magazine (YouTube’s 50 Best Videos).
CBS News Story: “Copy Machines, a Security Risk?”
In Hawaii, online news:
Hawaii’s Peer News’ Civil Beat: Be you. Be cool. Be civil.
Information about being safe online:
Stop. Think. Connect.
Safer for me. More secure for all.
Internet safety requires a small, regular commitment to common sense and awareness.
Protecting yourself (and the rest of us) isn’t difficult. Simple actions and thoughtful behavior will make us good online citizens, and help us avoid becoming victims of cybercrime.
Online security habits should be second nature. Just like buckling our seatbelts, washing our hands, looking both ways and not forgetting to floss, our safe online existence depends on our commitment to STOP and THINK before we CONNECT online.
The Internet is a global, shared community where we work, learn, explore, transact, and connect with family, friends and the world. Adopting safer online habits will make the Internet more secure for all, and bring confidence and peace of mind to life online.
1. Keep a Clean Machine, Newer is Better
Up-to-date software is your best defense. Developers regularly upgrade their software to deliver the best protection against the latest threats—worms, viruses and other malware. Take the time to install the newest versions of all your security software—anti-spam, anti-virus, anti-spyware software, firewall, operating system and web browsers.
Update automatically. Many software programs update or prompt you to update. Make sure these upgrades are happening. (Check the version of the application on your computer or mobile device against the company’s current information.)
Know what’s running on your machine—especially on shared equipment. (Check your applications folder, and review all folders for unfamiliar programs. Get professional help if you see something out of the ordinary.)
Mobile devices such as smartphones, touchpads and other wireless technologies are exploding. Mobile computing security programs and services are emerging as well. Check your digital device’s company information for the latest security options such as encryption and decryption, online backup, and safety ratings for download files.
Keeping current helps safeguard the Internet for all of us.
2. Connect with Care
Protect your passwords.
- Make them complex by using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Change them often. Use different passwords for all your accounts. Keep them in a hard-to-find location.
- Use new tools. Proving who you are online (password and authentication technology) is evolving quickly. There are inexpensive programs that generate highly complex passwords and store them for you, encrypted. Ask your bank and others about the new tools they offer.
- Be vigilant. Check regularly and activate security settings for your social networking, banking and online shopping accounts. If your tools are outdated or your settings incorrect, you could expose yourself and the people you connect with to prying eyes.
Customize your privacy settings. Social networking sites are simplifying their privacy controls—and providing more options. Visit the privacy settings page for the social networks you use. Learn how to limit what the world can see about you. Evaluate the risk to you and others anytime you share personal information online.
Conduct financial transactions only on secure sites. Look for the “s.” Website addresses that start with http:// are not secure. Any site asking you to provide payment information should be https:// or shttp:// meaning the site is encrypted. Make certain that “s” is there.
Know how you got there. When navigating online, we often arrive at new sites through links provided by others. Consider how you got there before you interact or make a transaction.
Know why personal information is being requested and how it will be used. Be wary of requests for information that seem out of the ordinary for conducting business. For example, a request from a bank or ecommerce site to log onto your account directly via an email link is likely bogus.
Know phishing. Spam (junk email) accounts for the majority of email. Some try to sell you products, others are designed to lure you into sharing information that will put your identity and/or money at risk, jeopardize friends and colleagues in your network, or reveal confidential business information (client lists, banking credentials, intellectual property).
- Confirm the source of any suspect email or attachment. If an email arrives from a friend or colleague saying “check this out!”, STOP and THINK. If it’s enticing, THINK TWICE about opening it. When in doubt, pick up the phone and verify its integrity.
- It’s OK not to act on emails that implore you to act immediately, provide extensive personal or password information. Often these emails appear to come from your bank or a site you visit regularly. They may look familiar, but THINK about what they are asking you to do.
Safeguarding your personal information protects others. A cautious mindset and few simple actions will put you in control.
3. Be Web Wise.
Learn more about the threats (malware, phishing, email scams, spam, identity theft). Understand what these words mean, so you’ll know a threat when you see it.
Going wireless can be risky. Public networks (WiFi hotspots in public places) are not the place to conduct private business such as banking or share personal information.
When you protect yourself, you’re protecting others. A security breach of any kind could mean the loss of confidential business documents, intellectual property, personal files, or your own hard work.
4. Be a Good Online Citizen
Personal responsibility is the place to begin. Most online security lapses happen because someone wasn’t careful. Responsible online habits and a few good tools can help make sure that someone is never you.
Set a good example. Make a small, regular commitment to responsible actions and behaviors at home, work and school.
Help others. Do the same for any young or elderly people in your life who may need help navigating security systems and procedures.
Report crime. Report stolen business or personal identities and other malicious intrusions to www.ic3.gov (Internet Crime Complaint Center), the Federal Trade Commission (if it’s fraud), and to your local authority.
Regularly visit credible government and industry sites for the latest information:
Regularly visit your vendor sites for security program information and news.