Home > Publications > Non-Technical > October 2009 - Volume 4, Issue 10 - Top Ten Cyber Security Tips

October 2009 - Volume 4, Issue 10 - Top Ten Cyber Security Tips

www.msisac.org | www.staysafeonline.org | www.nascio.org | www.dhs.gov

In recognition of the 2009 National Cyber Security Awareness Month, this edition of the newsletter is designed to provide you with the TOP 10 Cyber Security Tips that you can - and should - use to protect your computer system.
1. Think Before You Click -Always think before you click on links or images in an
     email, instant message, or on web sites.  Be cautious when you receive an
     attachment from unknown sources.  Even if you know and trust the sender of
     the email, instant message, web site, or a friend's social networking page, it is
     still prudent to use caution when navigating pages and clicking on links or
2. Use Hard to Guess Passwords - Developing good password practices will help
    keep your personal information and identity more secure. Passwords should
    have at least eight characters and include uppercase and lowercase letters,
    numerals and symbols.

3. Avoid Phishing Scams - Phishing is a form of identity theft in which the intent is
    to steal your personal data, such as credit card numbers, passwords, account
    data, or other information.  Do not reply to emails that ask you to “verify your
     information” or to “confirm your user-id and password.”

4. Shop Safely Online - When shopping online always know with whom you're
    dealing. When submitting your purchase information, look for the "lock" icon on
    the browser's status bar to be sure your information is secure during
    transmission. Always remember to pay by credit card and keep a paper trail.

5. Protect Your Identity - When visiting web sites, it's important to know what
    information is being collected, by whom and how it will be used.  Web sites
    track visitors as they navigate through cyberspace, therefore, data may be
    collected about you as a result of many of your online activities.  Please keep in
    mind most legitimate web sites include a privacy statement. The privacy
    statement is usually located at the bottom of the home page and details the type
    of personally identifiable information the site collects about its visitors, how the
    information is used - including with whom it may be shared - and how users can
    control the information that is gathered.

6. Dispose of Information Properly - Before discarding your computer or portable
    storage devices, you need to be sure that the data contained on the device has
    been erased or "wiped." Read/writable media (including your hard drive) should
    be "wiped" using Department of Defense (DOD) compliant software.

7. Protect Your Children Online - Discuss and set guidelines and rules for
   computer use with your child. Post these rules by the computer as a reminder.
   Familiarize yourself with your child's online activities and maintain a dialogue with
   your child about what applications they are using. Consider using parental control
   tools that are provided by some Internet Service Providers and available for
    purchase as separate software packages.

8. Protect Your Portable Devices - It is important to make sure you secure your
    portable devices to protect both the device and the information contained on the
   device. Always establish a password on all devices.  If your device has
    Bluetooth functionality and it’s not used, check to be sure this setting is disabled.
    Some devices have Bluetooth-enabled by default. If the Bluetooth functionality
     is used, be sure to change the default password for connecting to a Bluetooth
    enabled device.  Encrypt data and data transmissions whenever possible.

9. Secure Your Wireless Network - Wireless networks are not as secure as the
    traditional "wired" networks, but you can minimize the risk on your wireless
    network by enabling encryption, changing the default password, changing the
    Service Set Identifier (SSID) name (which is the name of your network) as well
    as turning off SSID broadcasting and using the MAC filtering feature, which
    allows you to designate and restrict which computers can connect to your
    wireless network.

10. Back-Up Important Files - Back-up your important files minimally on a weekly
       basis.  Don’t risk losing your important documents, images or files! 



For more information on the Top 10 Cyber Security Tips,
please visit the MS-ISAC Monthly Cyber Security Newsletter Tips:

  The information provided in the Monthly Security Tips Newsletters is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization’s end users and to help them behave in a more secure manner within their work environment. While some of the tips may relate to maintaining a home computer, the increased awareness is intended to help improve the organization’s overall cyber security posture. Organizations have permission--and in fact are encouraged--to brand and redistribute this newsletter in whole for educational, non-commercial purposes.

Brought to You by:

MS-ISAC logo