Security Tips from Direct Federal | Credit Union | Needham | MA 05/17/2016
Your online security is important to us. Use these tips to help protect yourself and important information about yourself and family.
1. Use Unique and Memorable Phrases to Create Secure Passwords that Are Easy for You to Remember.
Strong password management takes only a modest amount of time and effort, and the reward is improved security, which is essential when it comes to protecting your sensitive information. Come up with a phrase that has meaning to you, such as “My 2 favorite pizza toppings are meatballs, ham and sausage!” Then, simply take the first letter of each word in the phrase to create your password, which in this case would be “M2fptam,Has!.” This ensures that you are not using a password that is easily guessable or found in the dictionary. Including numbers, special characters, and a mix of upper and lowercase letters helps ensure the strongest possible password with a minimum of 10 characters.
2. Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Network
Be aware of all the devices connected to your home Wi-Fi network, including baby monitors, gaming consoles, TVs, appliances or even your car. Ensure all those devices are protected by a strong password and/or are running the latest version of their operating system. The most effective steps you can take to secure your wireless network at home is to change the default admin password, enable WPA2 encryption and use a strong password for your wireless network.
3. Avoid Getting Caught in a Phishing Expedition: Hover Over URLs to Make Sure they’re Legitimate.
Don’t blindly click on links that you receive in email, especially from people that you don’t know or whose identity you cannot ascertain. Phishing is a technique used by criminals in which they send you an email message and ask you to click on a link to visit a website. The stated name of the website might be for a company that you already trust and use, but the actual link takes you to a fake or copycat website designed to steal your account’s login information. Always hover your cursor over links to make sure they are legitimate and will take you to the right URL. When in doubt, just delete the email.
4. All Operating Systems Can Be Affected By Viruses and Malware. Take Steps to Protect Your System.
Many believe that Mac computers are immune to viruses and malware, but this is not true. Any operating system, and even mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, can acquire viruses and malware. To protect your system, ensure that you have an updated security system running at all times, scan anything you add to your computer, and avoid opening programs and links that seem suspicious or aren’t from someone you trust.
5. Sensitive Data Can Be Retrieved From Old Devices. Always Erase Devices Before Disposing of Them.
Desktop computers, laptop computers and mobile devices may have confidential or sensitive data on them. If disposed of improperly, this data may be accessed by anyone. Always erase devices thoroughly before disposal or use a service specifically designed for the recycling and removal of unwanted devices.