How was your week? Mine was meh (uneventful).
Did you miss our last post? Check it out – Where in Nigeria do you want to visit ?
October as been set aside as the National Cyber Security Awareness Month by the Department of Homeland Security and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA, a non-profit organization). National Cyber Security Awareness Month was designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about Cyber Security and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.
P.S. We did a post on Social Engineering Attacks here.
Before you would get an email from someone asking you for personal information or help with money from a Nigerian Prince (the normal 419). Nowadays, the attackers are wiser, they would send you can email that looks very legit containing a link to a fake website or which downloads a virus unto your system.
- Don’t click on the link! Seriously don’t!! Although it may seem to come from a legitmiate person such as GTB or Apple. Make sure you check the sender of the email. If and when you receive such email, just delete the email. Occassionally, such emails may come with an attachment instead of a link. Delete it!
Smishing are similar to Phishing, using SMS (text) messages rather than e-mail to send messages asking people to provide personal and sensitive information or congratulating them for winning something.
- Do not reply the text message/click on any link: Instead of responding, contact your financial institution directly if there are questions as regards your accounts. I usually ignore such messages.
- If its “too good to be true, it probably is”: If you receive any text stating that you have won a prize , especially if you don’t remember entering into one. It may be a scam, just delete the message. If it appears to be “too good to be true”, then it probably is.
Fake Wi-fi Hotspots
Public Wi-fi networks can be found also everywhere – airports, cafes, hotels which makes it easy for people to connect their devices and systems to the internet. While free and convenient, this wifi are usually not secure and could expose you to hackers waiting to steal sensitive information.
- Think before you connect: Before you connect to any public free wireless hotspot, confirm the name of the network with a staff just so you are sure. An attacker can easily create a similar network which users might not notice and connect to. Also, most times they are not secure and do not encrypt sensitive information during transmission therefore making it vulnerable to attackers. Avoid carrying out sensitive activities such as online shopping, banking or sensitive work over a public wireless network.
- Use strong passwords: Remember our post here! Always use different passwords for different accounts. DO NOT CLICK the option that allows your systems and devices to remember your passwords.
- Ensure websites are encrypted: When visiting sites and entering personal/sensitive information such as credit card information, personal details. Ensure that the website is encrypted (encrypted sites use https:// and are usually identified by the green padlock.
Studies show that humans have up to 25 accounts online (emails, social networks, online stores) and enter an average of eight passwords daily in order to authenticate themselves. As a result, humans have created strategies in order to cope with such problems; from using easily remembered passwords, writing down their passwords, sharing their passwords with others, using password managers and reusing their passwords (sometimes with modifications).
How to create a strong password
- at least 8 characters long.
- should not contain your username, your fullname(s).
- should not contain a complete word (no dictionary word).
- MUST contain characters from the following
- Uppercase Letters e.g. A, B, C.
- Lowercase Letters e.g. a, b, c.
- Numbers e.g. 1, 2, 3.
- Symbols e.g. ~ ! @ # $ %
Note: A password can obey the above and still not be strong e.g. Potato3@
- Use a phrase or word that means something to you e.g.
- W@fl5s (I love waffles).
- 2BorNot2B (To be or not to be – from Shakespeare).
- 5y5t3m:957 (System:957)
- Use a phrase or word that associate with the website e.g.
- ABT2_uz_AMZ! (About to use Amazon)
- Pwrd4AcctFb (Password for account at Facebook)
- Avoid writing down your passwords.
- Avoid sharing your passwords with others.
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Thanks for reading!