Online Safety Tips for NCSAM: Lessons From Week Three

October 24, 2016
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3 min read

Have you become smarter about cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)? Keeping in mind all the cybersecurity tips we shared during week one and week two, here are seven more NCSAM lessons to remember:

1. Be Wary of Attachments

Be wary of an attachment even if it appears to be from a friend or family member. Although an email might look like it came from someone you know, it may have come from a fraudster impersonating that person. Many viruses can spoof the return address. If you weren’t expecting the email, always check with the person who appears to have sent the message to make sure it’s legitimate before opening any attachments.

2. Don’t Compromise Security for Convenience

As you move across the web, you are often prompted to save your passwords. It’s so tempting, isn’t it? Don’t do it! You shouldn’t trust your browser with your passwords.

3. Know the Difference Between Breaking News and a Malicious Hoax

Do not fall for the big news spreading only via email, short message service (SMS) or social networks. If it’s not in the papers, it may be a scam.

4. Nowadays, Even the Walls Have Ears

Did you know your phone can listen to conversations even when it appears to be off? So can your smart TV, Amazon Echo and other smart devices.

5. Internet of Things Devices Hold Valuable Data

Be sure to protect your connected devices. Business Insider predicted that there will be 24 billion IoT devices by 2020, and attacks against them have already started to make the headlines.

Default credentials and outdated firmware are commonly at fault. Failing to change a default username and password on an internet-enabled device is as good as having no password at all.

6. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Small inconveniences in the present can save you big trouble in the future. Though not foolproof, two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra step — and an extra layer of security — to your basic login procedure.

7. Do You Have a Big Brother?

The news about Marc Zuckerberg covering his laptop’s microphone and webcam spread around the world. But he is a high-profile target, so why should ordinary folks bother? Think of all the things your devices have seen you do. Cybercriminals can hijack the web cameras, home cameras or baby monitors to spy on whoever is on the other end. Why take the chance?

More NCSAM Lessons?

What other advice would you give to everyday users? If we missed any key NCSAM lessons, let us know on Twitter with hashtag #InfosecTips.

Illustrations by Nathan Salla

Lucie Hys
Product Marketing Manager, IBM Security

Lucie Hys is a Product Marketing Manager on IBM Security's team. She has worked in marketing for more than 8 years and worked on campaigns of 30+ companies f...
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