South Fulton Cyber Security Tips
Securing your wireless network/Internet:
- Change the name of your network from the manufacturer's default
- Change the default password to something at least 12 characters, numbers, mixed case
- For WIFI, under the security settings use WPA2
- When needed for visitors, setup a guest network for your guest and disable it when it is not in use
- For Internet of Things, just because it can connect doesn't mean it should. Ensure there is a clear benefit if you connect your fridge, TV, toaster to your guest network
- Avoid connecting IOT devices to your internal network and connect these items to your guest network
- Make sure your equipment including connected devices, computers, phones, internet browsers, applications and WIFI routers security patches and operating systems are up to date. Automatic updates is highly recommended.
- Ensure all devices have an antivirus and/or firewall installed
- Use hard to guess and long (8-10 characters minimum) passwords.
- Include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (like “&”, “$”, and “*”). Never use names, dates, or phone numbers since those things can be found on the Internet.
- Never use the same password in more than one place. That way, if your password for one site gets stolen, none of your other logins are in danger.
- Consider using a password manager. It’s a good way to keep lots of unique, strong passwords without having to remember all of them. We put some options in our “tools” section below.
Protecting Personal Info & Data
Your computer and mobile devices have tons of important information on them. Make sure you protect them with strong passwords. Having a good backup routine is critical as well. There are three steps to backing up your data:
- Make copies of your data. Most computers have a built-in backup option (Apple support; Windows support).
- Store the copies using either hardware or software options. Hardware options include an external hard drive, flash drive, or a DVD/CD. Software options are online services that keep your data in the cloud. There is usually a monthly storage fee for the service).
- Keep the backup someplace safe. It’s a good idea to put it in a location that isn’t your home, like a relative’s house or the use of cloud services such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. That way, if something happens to your home, it’s still available.
- Phishing is when cybercriminals send an email or use a website to try to get you to provide personal or financial details. Sometimes they have you click a link and put malware onto your device. But there’s ways to avoid a phish:
- Don’t respond to emails that don’t look legit. Follow up with the company directly instead of clicking the link.
- Check for spelling or grammar mistakes in the email. Phishing hackers also try to use a sense of urgency to get you to act —don’t fall for it.
- Look at the URL (the website address). Does it start with https://? You want to make sure you see the S for secure! Is there something that isn’t spelled right, or extra info? For example, if it says boston.gov.pl ...that’s the wrong address.
- Two-step verification for social media
- Two-step verification is sometimes also called “login verification,” “multi-factor authentication,” or “two-factor authentication.” It’s a great way to protect your social media accounts. Through two-step verification, you set up a second factor as part of your login process.
- Some options include getting a code sent in a text to your phone or getting push notifications in an app. Using two-step adds an extra layer of security and stops anyone who might have stolen your password.
- Social media tools
- Most social media tools provide this service, so it’s a great idea to set it up. Learn more about Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and other two-step options.
If You're Hacked
- Signs that you may have been hacked include:
- Your family and friends ask you why you sent an email that you never did
- You see posts on your social networks that you didn’t make (especially asking people to click a link), or you lose a mobile device.
- Take these steps to regain control:
- Let everyone know. Tell your contacts to be on the lookout for suspicious emails or posts from you. And tell them to delete those emails and posts right away.
- Reset your password for the account that was hacked and all your other key accounts (like your email and online banking). Remember to follow the password rules (long, strong, and unique).
- If you think a device has been infected, update your security software and then run a full scan.
- If you cannot get into an account, contact that service provider right away and follow the steps they give you to recover your account.
- You can take the same steps when a company lets you know it had a security breach. Better safe than sorry! Worried you're a victim of identity theft? Report it right away.