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We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settingsotherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Privacy Policy. Home Search In. Previous Fields Gender Female. Profile Information Location southampton hampshire. Gutted im going to miss this one sounds like a great place to go, next year I will make sure i book my holiday round the gp dates.

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Attention to detail helps when analyzing legislation or conducting digital forensics. See below for more examples of skills:. As the field of cybersecurity continues to explode, more and more positions and pathways are created. It is important to note that cybersecurity can be broken into two distinct focus areas: security management and security operations.

Management focuses on policies, procedures, education initiatives, and the governance around all elements of a security program. Operations on the other hand, focuses more on the technical side of security such as device management, penetration testing, event monitoring, etc. While considering your path, think about which option appeals to you more. The NICE framework is a great career pathing guide as it standardizes career paths and job titles and provides lists of core competencies and skills.

The Cyber Seek careers site provides a place to consider job paths, while also looking at current openings around the United States. As you explore the above resources and career paths, take a look into the resources below on professional development and training as well:. NSA Centers of Academic Excellence — Identified and certified institutions of education recommended for study in cybersecurity.

Although cybersecurity was not as common or distinct of a career path in the distant past, we are seeing it more prominently represented as an option in education. The need to introduce children to cybersecurity at a young age becomes critical to help fill the skills gap in the field. See these examples below that can be shared with any young future cyber professionals you may know!

CyberPatriot — For middle school students to learn cybersecurity in team events. These initiatives are gaining interest and are ensuring that kids can envision becoming a cybersecurity forensic investigator, a white hat hacker, or one of the most in demand security consultants in the country. Remember: the IRS does not send unsolicited emails and never emails taxpayers about the status of refunds.

The emails have links that show an IRS. The emails contain a "temporary password" or "one-time password" to "access" the files to submit the refund. But when taxpayers try to access these, it turns out to be a malicious file. We urge you to be on-guard at all times. This new scam uses dozens of compromised websites and web addresses that pose as IRS. By infecting computers with malware, these imposters may gain control of the taxpayer's computer or secretly download software that tracks every keystroke, eventually giving them passwords to sensitive accounts, such as financial accounts.

The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry, which work together in the Security Summit effort, have made progress in their efforts to fight stolen identity refund fraud. But people remain vulnerable to scams by IRS imposters sending fake emails or harrassing phone calls. The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts. The IRS also doesn't call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. Typical travelers heading out on their summer vacation check that they have the right supplies and clothes for their trip before they hit the road.

Expert travelers will be also checking to ensure they are educated and prepared to be cyber-safe with their devices and data while on the road. Thinking of your smartphones and devices as being just as important as your wallet is a proper step in the right direction. These devices contain everything from your banking and payment information to your treasured family photos, and ensuring they are secure and protected when away from home is paramount. In partnership with the National Cybersecurity Alliance NCSA , we have put together some key tips, strategies, and resources to aid you in being secure during your travels.

Update your devices: One of the most simple and effective ways to stay cyber-secure is to continuously update your devices. On laptops, a minimum of 10 character password or phrase is recommended including uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers. Set your device to lock after an amount of time: Once you have the passcode, password, or swipe pattern established, you should set an automatic device lock prompting for the access code after a specified time of inactivity.

This will prevent a criminal from getting onto your device if you accidentally leave it unlocked. Book your trip with trusted sites: When planning your trip and booking transportation, lodging, and experiences, it is important to complete those transactions with trusted, known businesses. If possible, double check the reviews and reputation of a site you are unfamiliar with, but are considering to use for your booking.

By sticking to reputable sites, you guarantee a higher standard of security for your data and transaction. Keep track of your devices: Not only are your devices themselves worth a great deal of money, but your sensitive information that is accessible by that device is also valuable. Ensure that you keep your devices close at hand or secured away safely when not in use. Theft of mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets and laptops, is all too common and can spoil a fun trip to a great extent.

Limit your activity on public Wi-Fi networks: Public Wi-Fi that does not require credentials or logging in is not protected by encryption, so browsing and activity is not secure from prying eyes. To ensure your information is not put at risk, avoid logging into your personal accounts or making transactions while on public or hotel networks. Criminals may see that you are away from home based on social media content and attempt to steal from your home! If you also share too many details about where you are on your trip, some scammers may attempt to contact your family and friends with a variety of scam tactics.

Additionally, consider setting your social media accounts to only allow friends to view your posts and content. Tips on privacy for safe social media use can be found with more detail in our prior newsletter. By following these tips and being a cyber-safe traveler, you will have a smooth and enjoyable vacation!

There are more resources available from NCSA and our partners on staying secure on trips and at home, check them out below to learn more:. In the past year, we saw a significant number of data breaches impacting the privacy of individuals. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, in , publicly disclosed breaches exposed 1. With January 28 th being National Data Privacy Day, take some time to consider what types of personal information you should be protecting, and how to do so in a few different ways.

Personally identifiable information or PII can be any data that identifies you as a specific individual. This information should be kept private and not shared with others. Recommendations: Be aware of what you post publically or submit through applications or services. Consider with whom you share your PII, and give extra scrutiny and consideration as to whether you really need to share this information. If someone contacts you requesting PII through email, social media, or a phone call, do not provide the information.

If it is a phone call that you think is legitimate, hang up and call the organization back through a publicly listed telephone number so you can verify the caller is who they say they are. Giving out your location when away from home on social media is a privacy risk. This practice can result in your home being targeted for burglary. Recommendations: Customize your location settings to minimize sharing your location with websites and applications, especially on your mobile devices.

You can geotag social media posts, pictures, or videos after returning from vacation, going out to eat, or that business trip. At a minimum, ensure your social media settings are set to only show your posts and profile to friends.

Security questions are a way to authenticate your identity and are an extra layer of security on accounts, which makes it extra important to not post these answers on social media. These are common security questions and by posting this information, you give away the answers, allowing cybercriminals to potentially access your accounts.

Recommendations: When on social media, be aware of what you post including pictures! All websites and applications have privacy settings. These settings help you control what others are allowed to see, as well as manage your online experience. You should be familiar with these privacy settings and customize them to protect your information.

Additionally, when creating an account on a website or application and agreeing to their services, understand what you are giving them permission to do with the data you provide. Protecting your privacy starts with you. Website owners, websites, and service providers have a responsibility to protect your privacy.

However, it is up to you to understand the privacy settings on social media, online accounts, and your devices. Knowing these settings, you will be able to customize them for greater security. Take ownership of your privacy and read privacy policies and end user license agreements on websites including social media , and update your settings whenever new privacy features are available. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. National Cybersecurity Alliance. Have you noticed how often security breaches, stolen data, and identity theft are consistently front-page news these days?

Perhaps you, or someone you know, are victims of cyber criminals who stole personal information, banking credentials, or more. As these incidents become more prevalent, you should consider using multi-factor authentication, often also called strong authentication, or two-factor authentication.

This technology may already be familiar to you, as many banking and financial institutions require both a password and one of the following to log in: a call, email, or text containing a code. By applying these principles of verification to more of your personal accounts, such as email, social media, and more, you can better secure your information and identity online.

In other words, a person wishing to use the system is given access only after providing two or more pieces of information, which uniquely identifies them. There are three categories of credentials: something you either know, have, or are. Here are some examples in each category. In order to gain access, your credentials must come from at least two different categories. One of the most common methods is to login using your user name and password. Then a unique one-time code will be generated and sent to your phone or email, which you would subsequently enter within the allotted amount of time.

This unique code is the second factor. MFA should be used to add an additional layer of security around sites containing sensitive information, or whenever enhanced security is desirable. MFA makes it more difficult for unauthorized people to log in as the account holder. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST MFA should be used whenever possible, especially when it comes to your most sensitive data — like your primary email, financial accounts, and health records.

Some organizations will require you to use MFA; with others, it is optional. If you have the option to enable it, you should take the initiative to do so to protect your data and your identity. To learn how to activate MFA on your social media accounts, head to the Lock Down Your Login site, which provides instructions on how to apply this fantastic form of security to many common websites and software products you may use.

Department of Homeland Security through their Stop Think Connect campaign to empower citizens with cybersecurity knowledge and practices. If any of your accounts are not listed on that resource site, look at your account privacy settings or user profile and check whether MFA is an available option.

If you see it there, consider implementing it right away. User name and password are no longer sufficient to protect accounts with sensitive information. By using multifactor authentication you can protect these accounts reduce the risk of online fraud and identify theft. Consider activating this feature on all your social media accounts. Have you ever Googled yourself to see what information about you is online? A search can often provide your address history, phone number, age, birthdate, employment information, public records, and social media accounts.

Consider what can be done with Personally Identifiable Information PII from the perspective of a cyber-criminal looking to commit identity theft or other crimes. Children, teens, and senior citizens are all groups who especially may not realize how vulnerable they are to being a victim of cyber-crime.

Senior citizens may be more trusting of the material that is presented to them online. Children and teens are growing up with technology, and may be using it to communicate with each other with only a recreational level of understanding. They may not realize that once you post online, it rarely goes away. In order to keep information safe or private, we need to take care in sharing it, and teach cyber privacy to those who may not understand its importance.

Here are examples of how we are asked to provide information, or how people share information that should be kept private:. Store loyalty and other accounts online — When you sign up for a store loyalty program or other online accounts, you are asked to provide information such as name, address, phone number, birthdate, email address, etc.

By providing this, you can get discounts on the merchandise they are selling, or can receive promotions by email. However, is that information you provide kept private, or is it sold to other companies so they can market to you? Read the terms of use and privacy policy before signing up for such a program. Phishing Emails — Cyber criminals will offer false and unbelievable deals to get you to click on a link and provide them with your information.

You may hear about a loan offer, or a notification that your order shipped and that you need to log in by clicking their link to track it. Criminals seek your information in an effort to steal your identity and use it to open up fraudulent accounts in your name. Always shop with trusted vendors, and never follow an unsolicited link in an email asking you to log in to an account.

Instead head to the website you normally use by typing it into your browser to check on your account. They may ask for money to renew a license, as a method to complete the fraudulent activity. Other criminals may pose as the IRS, pressuring you into paying taxes. Never offer payment information or personal information to someone calling you unsolicited. Always end the call and attempt to contact the organization through a publicly listed phone number that is legitimate, then see if you need to work with them on a problem.

Social Media Sites — These sites provide a relaxed atmosphere where you can chat with friends and family. The issue is that anything you post or share is likely a permanent submission that many others can access online. Oversharing on social media may lead to you voluntarily giving up answers to account security questions, like the color of your car or the town where you were born.

Also, posting about being on vacation sends a signal to criminals that your home may be unoccupied and a great target for a robbery! With all this information about you on social media, be sure to set your account privacy settings so only friends can view your content. Lastly, consider deleting old, unused social media accounts to cut down on your digital footprint. Whenever communicating with people or posting online, avoid sharing too much.

When receiving emails, mail or calls asking for sensitive information birthdate, social security number, credit card, etc. Do not share information if you do not initiate the communication! Below are resources on protecting privacy and identity along with practices for online security. These help you to protect yourself, your children, and your elders from being victims of a crime. Have you ever gotten an email from someone claiming to be royalty? In their email they tell you that they will inherit millions of dollars, but need your money and bank details to get access to that inheritance.

Learning to identify and avoid these scams is the first step in protecting yourself from these schemes. Senior Citizens are often particularly vulnerable to some of these fraud campaigns. The world today is full of cybercriminals launching both phishing emails, and the tried and true phone scams that never fell out of fashion.

Protecting not only your finances, but also your data from these scams is more important now than ever. Scammers who operate by phone can seem legitimate and are typically very persuasive! To draw you in to their scam, they might:. If you receive a suspicious phone call or robocall, the easiest solution is to hang up.

Phishing emails are convincing and trick many people into providing personal data. These emails tend to be written versions of the scam phone calls described above. Some signs of phishing emails are:. Beware that many scam and phishing emails look legitimate! If you get scam phone calls or phishing emails at home, hang up or delete the emails. Additionally, please educate your parents and grandparents on these scams, as they are becoming only more and more common. As people seek to file their tax returns this year, cybercriminals will be busy trying to take advantage of this with a variety of scams.

Citizens may learn they are victims only after having a legitimate tax return rejected because scammers already fraudulently filed taxes in their name. The IRS identified 9, fraudulent tax returns as of only February 24 th , for the last filing season. As everyone aims to file their returns among all this fraud, the following advice will explain how tax fraud happens and provide recommendations on how to prevent it from happening to you or how to get help if you are unfortunately affected by a tax scam!

The most common way for cybercriminals to steal money, financial account information, passwords, or Social Security Numbers is to simply ask for them. They may tell you a new copy of your tax form is available. If you attempt to login into the false website, or provide any personal information, the criminals will see what you type and try to use it to compromise your other accounts and file a false return in your name.

Additionally, much of your personal information can be gathered online from sources like social media or past data breaches. Criminals know this, so they gather pieces of your personal information from a variety of sources and use the information to file a fake tax refund request! If a criminal files a tax return in your name before you do, you will go through the arduous process of proving that you did not file the return and subsequently correcting the return.

Criminals also impersonate the IRS or other tax officials, demanding tax payments and threatening you with penalties if you do not make an immediate payment. This contact may occur through websites, emails, or threatening calls or text messages that seem official but are not. It is important to remember that the IRS lets citizens know it will not do the following :.

If you receive a similar email on your personal account, the IRS encourages you to forward the original suspicious email as an attachment to its phishing irs. If you suspect you have become a victim of tax fraud or identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission FTC Identity Theft website provides a step-by-step recovery plan.

It also allows you to report if someone has filed a return fraudulently in your name, if your information was exposed in a major data breach, and many other types of fraud. Did you ever wonder what it would be like to have a smart home? You could remotely change the temperature in your house, you could tell your lights to come on, or ask your refrigerator if you need to get milk at the grocery store, all from your smart home device or smartphone.

You could play video games and access all your streaming services from one device, or know who is at your door from your connected doorbell. The Internet of Things IoT is introducing these features into our homes by rapidly applying connectivity to everyday appliances and home features. As IoT devices become a part of our daily lives, and likely will become part of many more homes as holiday gifts, we need to take a look at the security risks and privacy concerns this smart technology introduces into our lives.

Many people have a personal digital assistant like an Amazon Echo or Google Home. These devices analyze your past commands to try to anticipate your needs. These may also be linked to accounts used to purchase goods or services; make changes in your house such as turning off alarms, turning on the lights, or adjusting the temperature; or be linked to other accounts so they can tell you your schedule or read your email.

Amazon Echo even has the ability to provide a pet-sitter with instructions, which is a give-away that you are not home. Many homeowners are beginning to opt for a digital thermostat that allows them to control the temperature in their home remotely using an app.

While digital thermostats do come at a premium, the vendor also makes money on data it collects on usage and habits. Smart light bulbs and smart doorbells also allow for great levels of data collection by the manufacturer. IoT manufacturers entice consumers with convenience and functionality by promising the world of the future through devices like those listed above.

All the while, cybercriminals are finding that they can use these devices as pathways into your home network to steal your data and find out more about you. And yes, that includes using digital information to determine if the house is unoccupied and safe to rob.

These devices rely on Internet connectivity to provide different forms of entertainment and include streaming video, interactive gaming, voice chat features, and apps that keep both the system and applications up-to-date. One major risk is that many gaming consoles require subscriptions and user accounts for accessing online content such as games and streaming services. This makes the console another device associated with an account that holds your personal and payment information for the purposes of renewing these subscriptions.

Remember these tips over the holidays as you receive and give gifts. The information provided from the MS-ISAC Monthly Security Tips Newsletter is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization's end users and customers to help educate them to behave in a more secure manner within their work environment or home 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.

Personal environment. It is that time of year where so many people prepare to purchase gifts for friends, family, and loved ones. Though it can be convenient to avoid the lines and rush for that latest Black Friday deal by shopping online, this also carries some risk.

Cybercriminals are always working to steal your personal and payment information and the holiday shopping season is the perfect opportunity for this to happen. By following a few key practices, you can greatly lower your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft or fraud. Always shop only with trusted online retailers.

That means using a retailer you already know or one that is verified through another trusted entity. If you find a new possible shop to do business with, but are unsure about its reputation, try to find reviews from trusted sources such as the Better Business Bureau. It is important to stick to trusted review sources because there are several ways to fake online reviews, and there are places where cybercriminals can pay other criminals to post positive reviews.

Even though an untrusted site might have the best prices, it is worth it to use a trusted online shop that is known to safeguard your information and purchases. The same advice applies when downloading apps to help with your online shopping. Whether you are downloading a store app to get a coupon, a deal aggregator app to comparison shop, or a reward app that ensures you get points or cashback, it is important to stick to trusted apps from known developers.

Unfortunately, fake apps appear in the app stores, purporting to be from a trusted source while other apps exist to capture your data without providing the services they claim to support. You can avoid many malicious apps by downloading your apps from Google Play, Apple App Store, Microsoft Store, or another trusted platform, selectively choosing which apps to download, and making sure you carefully read the permissions and app reviews.

Keep your devices up-to-date, especially those you shop and bank with — Simply updating the device that you use for conducting your online shopping is a key cybersecurity practice. Never use a public computer when shopping or banking — Using a public computer, like those found at libraries, can expose you to greater risk.

It is best to use a trusted home device and network for anything involving financial transactions. Never shop or conduct banking on unencrypted or public Wi-Fi — It is best to always conduct financial transactions or log on to sensitive accounts via a trusted Wi-Fi networks.

Ideally, this should be from your home network, which should require a password and use WPA2 encryption. Look for the lock icon on your browser - When a site has a lock icon on the browser window, or in the URL bar, it indicates that your communications with the site are encrypted. Check out as a guest — By checking out as a guest, you prevent the online retailer from storing your personal account and financial information.

This minimizes the amount of information that could be lost if the retailer is compromised. If you have or need an account with a retail website:. Look out for suspicious or unexpected emails — A common tactic of cybercriminals year round is to send fraudulent emails seeking to get you to click a link or open an attachment.

When it comes to this time of year, they may make an email look like it contains tracking information for a shipment or a promotion for a store. The link or attachment might download malware or try to get you to enter your user credentials in a convincing, yet fraudulent login screen, so they can steal your password. Avoid clicking advertisements or pop-up windows of any kind — Advertisements embedded in websites and pop-ups have been known to be compromised by cybercriminals to distribute malware.

It is best to avoid clicking them altogether. October 1 st kicked off this month-long campaign devoted to ensuring everyone has the resources they need to stay safe online. In partnership with NCSA, below we have provided some tips for how to make the most of those themes and strengthen our individual and national cybersecurity! Easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begin with parents and caregivers leading the way. Family members may be using the Internet to engage in social media, adjust the home thermostat, or to shop for the latest connected toy.

A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem. There are limitless opportunities for students and individuals looking for a new career or re-entering the workforce.

Here are some tried and true tips for cyber job seekers at any age:. Additional components include monthly webinars, online portal resources, and monthly newsletters summarizing the latest cybersecurity news. NCSA has also created a Cybersecurity Awareness Toolkit , for small and medium businesses which is packed with easy-to-use tips and practical information.

Our daily lives depend on 16 critical infrastructure sectors, which supply food, water, financial services, public health, government services, communications, transportation, and power along with other critical functionality. A disruption to this system, most of which is operated via the Internet, can result in significant and even catastrophic consequences.

Week 4 will highlight the roles the public can play in keeping it safe. Every day as we use our devices, browse the Internet, and open emails, we are also exposing those devices to potential malware malicious software. Malware comes in many forms, all of which can have negative effects for your device and for you. With a little extra vigilance, and some good habits and practices, you can greatly reduce your likelihood of having a device infected with malware and can minimize the impact to your device, data, and life, in the event that it does become infected.

Below we will explore a few common types of malware and their impacts, as well as some tips and practices that can help you as you go about your connected life. Ransomware — Ransomware is malware that stops you from being able to access your files, usually by encrypting them, and then requests payment to decrypt the files, restoring your access. Most commonly, ransomware asks for payment in bitcoin, which is a popular cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, paying the ransom does not guarantee restoring access to your files.

Trojan Horses a. Trojans of the malware variety behave in much the same way, by appearing to be legitimate apps or software that you want to install. Some trojans allow an attacker full access to your device, others steal banking and personally sensitive information, and others are simply used to download additional malware, like ransomware.

Keyloggers — This type of malware records your keystrokes and sends them to a cyber threat actor, giving them access to your usernames, passwords, and any other sensitive information you have entered using your keyboard. With this information, the cyber threat actor can access your online accounts or commit identity theft. We all know it happens — our home computers crash, malware infects them, or somebody downloads that cool, new program that crashes everything!

While there are many tips and tricks of great value for preventing your devices and data from being compromised, it is important to also have a backup of your information in case something goes wrong. Backups are copies of key information or data that are stored separately from your device. By storing these separately, you can restore your data or device using these backups and get right back to full working order. With threats of Ransomware, which encrypts and renders your personal files inaccessible, this is a real concern.

Below we will explore some key concepts on creating and will provide resources that assist you in making decisions on how to best create this essential type of redundancy in your life. When thinking about a backup system the first thing to decide is how much you want to backup. Are you okay storing key documents, pictures, and files or do you want your full system backed-up? If you just want to protect important files, then a system where you choose what to save would work well. If you are looking to store copies of your important files, you can copy them to your preferred method of backup periodically.

This is accomplished by selecting the folders or files you want to backup, and copying them to the storage device or media. This is made especially easy if you make a habit of organizing your important files into just a few folders. This is a very simple and easy approach, and guarantees that your tax documents, digital receipts, pictures, and other important records remain available.

If you are looking to create a more comprehensive backup, your devices likely have utilities built in that allow for easy creation of backups. Regardless of what you want to save, one of the key ways to keep your backed-up data safe, is to disconnect the storage media after you make the backup. This is important in the event that you are infected with malware.

You do not want copies of data to also be infected. Ransomware does look for backups to infect. This also helps in case your device or where you store it is lost, stolen, or physically destroyed. Keeping a separate backup on a different physical storage device, or in the cloud, is a way to better secure your data from this type of problem. Cloud services for storing backups can be a convenient solution, though they may come at a cost and some individuals may not like the fact that they will not have a copy in hand on physical storage media.

Having the backup outside your immediate possession can be helpful if you are concerned about a physical problem, such as loss or damage. Some of these services save multiple versions of your backup, which better secures against infected files corrupting the cloud backup. You simply need to copy the data you want to save to the external hard drive or media chosen.

Consider keeping the external drive disconnected and in a separate location from your devices while not making backups, as this insures against malware getting on the backup copy. The frequency with which you back up your data or systems is an important component of this process. Consider making your backups on a weekly basis, with a minimum frequency of monthly backups.

Your decision will be influenced by how often you update your data. In conclusion, spend time considering how vital the data on each of your devices is. Then consider the best type of backup strategy for your needs and base a timeline of how frequently you make the copies off those needs as well. By adding this simple process to your safe computing habits, you can build in more reliability and recoverability.

If you are ever the victim of a malware infection or cyber-attack, you will surely be glad you took the time to make backups! This month, in partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance, we aim to provide some valuable tips on staying cyber safe while heading on a summer vacation. Whether you are out exploring or relaxing, it is important to strive to be as secure as possible with your digital devices and information.

You see, while traveling you are operating outside of your normal, safe routines. This means using your devices on different networks and putting them down in different locations, including under your beach towel while swimming. By following some smart practices, you can connect with greater confidence during a summer escape. Avoid mayhem and make magical family memories by taking a few simple cyber safety steps before you head out of town.

The goal here is to prepare your devices for travel and to keep them from being used against you. Once you and your gang are at your destination, you are in new territory and are facing new potential cyber threats. Here are some ways you can keep up secure practices while out and about. Armed with these tips and practices, you should have a happy and cyber safe vacation ahead of you. For more information on NCSA, including countless resources on staying cyber secure, please visit staysafeonline.

Though we count on technologies and controls to minimize threats, phishing exploits users through social engineering, which allows the malicious actors to side step these protections. This is why it is important that everyone learn to spot these fraudulent messages. We understand that money can be tight and you may not be able to afford to go on vacation this year. However, we have a solution.

My company, World Bank and Trust is willing to offer low cost loans to get your through the vacation season. If you are interested in getting a loan, please fill out the attached contact form and send it back to us. We contact you within 2 days to arrange a deposit into your checking account. Please email your completed form to VacationLoans worldbankandtrust. In this message, you can see that the phisher wants to give us a low cost loan with no credit check.

They say we just need to send them our information and they will give us money, right? Not only does it seem too good to be true, but also when you hover the cursor over the email address to examine it further, you see that the link actually has a different destination.

It is the email address of the attacker. In order to collect you prize, you need to log in with your Amazon account at the link below and update your contact information so we can put your prize in the mail. This is a limited time offer, so please respond to the request within 2 business days. Failure to respond will forfeit your prize and we will select another winner.

If you read this quickly, you may think you are responding to the real company to get your gift certificate. In reality, you are providing your information to the attacker. For the purposes of this example, the link actually navigates to the Center for Internet Security, which is a trustworthy site.

Following changes to our Microsoft email systems, each user must authenticate their account to prevent it from being deactivated. You can accomplish this by heading to the link below and entering your Microsoft Outlook email account credentials, and then we will know your account is active and should remain so.

This email is fairly well crafted without errors. Note that it establishes a sense of urgency that the malicious actor hopes will cloud your judgement and threatens the deactivation of your email account. Additionally the link at the bottom looks like a link to Microsoft, yet it is in fact heading somewhere else!

Luckily, for the purposes of this example, that link simply leads to the Center for Internet Security, which is a legitimate site. With these three examples considered, here are some basic recommendations to help protect you from becoming a phishing victim:. Your information footprint is how much information about you is recorded and available in both digital and paper formats. Cleaning up your footprint can mean examining social media, online accounts, and even paper records containing sensitive information.

While we may use a few key digital devices and services on a regular basis, they often contain more information about us than is necessary. By spending a little bit of time and effort, you can better secure your information to safeguard against various forms of identity theft.

Many of us have a large quantity of paper documents that may contain sensitive information about ourselves, financial accounts, government identification information, tax returns, and more. Take some time to go through these documents this spring and check whether it is something you truly need to hold onto.

If the answer is no, be sure to securely dispose of it by shredding it and recycling the shredded pieces. Simply ripping up sensitive documents is not enough to guarantee your information is unreadable. Not sure how long you should hold on to those old documents? It is common for people to use many different shopping sites, social media outlets, online storage, clubs, and other online outlets that require you to enter, store, and sometimes share information from or about you. If you are no longer using any of these accounts, consider removing information that may be sensitive and consider closing them out if you do not plan to use them again.

Sometimes, it is easiest to check out as a guest when shopping online at a place that you rarely, if ever, patronize. Checking out as a guest should minimize the data retained about you. Remember MySpace? Do you still have that old email account or an account on an old dating website?

As we move from Myspace to Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, and the other latest and greatest social media platforms, our old accounts and information are left behind, filled with personal details. Consider closing out social media accounts that you no longer use, as it will reduce your digital footprint. Keep in mind that all social media platforms have different policies when deleting old accounts and content.

Be sure to read the policy. If you frequently use a social media or online account but it contains lots of personal details or information that you now think should be safeguarded more closely, consider removing it from your profile or deleting the posted content. Think about if the information you continue to share could be used against you or combined with other information to be used against you. Enough pieces of personal information combined together can be very useful to cybercriminals.

What does that mean? How could information be combined to be used against you? Think about your online bank account. If you forget your password what types of questions do they ask? Did you post a picture of your new car? Friend your mother or her brother on social media? Answer a meme about your birth month and day?

Share adorable pictures of Fluffy? This is the case for many of the pieces of information you may share online and many online accounts that use challenge questions to reset passwords. Information commonly used for challenge questions include the above examples and other details, such as your favorite sports team, vacation spot, fruit, ice cream, type of reading material, youngest sibling, elementary school name, and so on. As you clean up your data think about what information could be used to answer your security questions and try to remove that data from your social media accounts.

By questioning if you need to share or provide certain information online as you move forward, you can save yourself from many of the unnecessary overexposures we discuss here. Additionally, by taking a look at both your digital and paper trails to do these activities on a routine basis, you can be sure to keep overexposure in check. January 28 th is National Data Privacy Day, an educational initiative focusing on raising awareness among businesses and individuals about the importance of protecting the privacy of personal information.

With more and more information being collected by companies, websites, and social media, this is something everyone should consider. PII is any combination of data points that can lead to the identification of a specific individual you. Sensitive PII can also exist if PII is combined with another piece of information about you such as a birthdate, medical information, or even passwords.

The more pieces of data combined about an individual, the more valuable and sensitive the body of information becomes. Privacy is often considered to be the concept of confidentiality, which is keeping information secret from those that should not see it.

Privacy is a larger concept centering on you as the individual to whom the information refers. It is about your rights to access, correct, and control the information that another entity has about you. Organizations that honor your privacy will not only protect confidentiality, but should follow a set of principles related to how they manage your information, including:.

To understand your privacy rights it is essential that you read the privacy policies of any organization to whom you provide information, especially PII. This includes websites, health care providers, insurance companies, and financial institutions. If you do not agree with how they intend to protect your privacy, consider not using their service.

While organizations and websites have a responsibility to protect your privacy, which most will outline in their privacy policy, this is also your responsibility. Social media users are especially susceptible to privacy concerns. Individuals voluntarily place enormous amounts of information about themselves, their friends, and associates, on social media. It is critical that everyone is aware of the information they post on social media services, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

This awareness is not limited to what you post about yourself, but what you post about others as well! Despite many organizations best efforts in handling and using your private information properly, the countless breaches of PII by cyber criminals in the past few years have resulted in the exposure of information about millions of people. One reaction to such breaches can be to provide credit monitoring for one year.

This is a very short amount of time to have such a protection. Those that have stolen the information, or those to whom they have passed it on, may hold it for much longer than a year before using it to steal your identity, commit credit card fraud, or worse in your name.

If you are considering Identity Theft protection services, research the firms that you are considering engaging and ensure you understand the services they will and will not provide. Also, read their privacy policies, because for them to deliver these services you must provide them with varying amounts of PII. Protecting privacy is both your responsibility and that of those individuals and organizations that have information about you. Do everything in your power to be aware of how you personally can compromise your privacy and hold those organizations that you engage with accountable for their management, or mismanagement, of your personal information.

Toll Free: Lorain : Huron : Sandusky : Port Clinton : Use auto-update for all programs to receive the latest security patches. See Securing Your Device. Consider Upgrading to Windows Use anti-virus software and keep it updated. Keep your browser updated. We are providing these instructions as a courtesy only. We cannot and will not provide any support beyond providing these written instructions. Do not call for technical support. Phishing is a form of fraud in which the attacker tries to learn information such as login credentials or account information.

SmiShing is about sending false, fake text messages, claiming the mobile user that they have won a free product or need to enter information. Choose your appropriate device below for instruction on how to increase security measure. Online Banking security is intended to prevent unauthorized access to your account, validate your identity, protect your account information from fraudulent use, and prevent the theft of your identity. Tax identity fraud takes place when a criminal files a false tax return using a stolen Social Security number in order to fraudulently claim the refund.

Identity thieves generally file false claims early in the year and victims are unaware until they file a return and learn one has already been filed in their name. If you believe you are a victim of tax identity theft or if the IRS denies your tax return because one has previously been filed under your name, alert the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at In addition, you should:.

More information about tax identity theft is available from the FTC at ftc. There is a new scam you need to watch out for if you log into any of your accounts and have to wait for a text message sent to your phone to enter and only then log in. This more secure system is called "2-factor authentication". These two factors are:.

Now, criminal hackers are trying to get past this with a nasty trick you need to watch out for. Tens of millions of hacked user names and passwords have recently surfaced -- yours may be one of them -- and they are using these for this scam. They send you a fake spoofed text that looks like it's from the company you have an account with, claiming that your account may be hacked or that there is suspicious activity happening. In the same text they say they will send you your verification code and that you need to send that right back to them or your account gets closed.

But if you text that verification code back, you have given the hacker just the thing they needed to hack into your account! That means if you did not just try to log in and you suddenly receive a verification code through a text message to your smartphone, it is because a scammer who already has your user name and password is trying to hack into your account. Never provide your verification code to anyone. Only use it to input the code into your smartphone or computer when you log into a 2-factor authentication protected account.

And as a reminder, never give out personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card numbers in response to a text message or email because you simply cannot know for sure who is really on the other end of that communication line. Customers have been receiving calls from individuals claiming to be from banking institutions.

The callers are telling customers that their Debit Card has been compromised in an attempt to get information from them. From the information that we have received it appears that the call system is automated and usually appears as an "Unknown Number". If you feel you have received one of these calls, please contact our Electronic Banking department to report it.

Please remember that we will never contact you by phone, if your card is compromised. You will be notified by mail. Additionally, we will NEVER ask you for your full card number, account numbers, social security number or any other personal information over the phone. The phone number used connects to a fraudulent group that steals card information.

They try to make the phone number look local to your area. Often, the target of the text may not even have an account at the bank listed in the message. This is a nationwide scam. Notify your bank and the bank referenced in the message immediately, if you receive one of these text messages. To notify First Federal Savings of Lorain, call our Electronic Banking Department at or email customersupport firstfedlorain.

Sample Notice. President's Corner. The rally in XRP follows months of sideways trading for the cryptocurrency, which took an upwards turn a week ago following positive news flow for banking-focused Ripple, as well as generally surging prices among alternative coins as investors look to move money out of an overstretched and falling bitcoin.

Most recently, the company announced in late November that Standard Chartered and Axis Bank are launching a new cross-border payments platform built on top of Ripple technology. Looking at CoinMarketCap data, XRP has seen trading volumes increase over the last 24 hours by nearly 25 percent at major South Korean exchange Bithumb, while Hong Kong-based Bitfinex has seen volumes rise over 10 percent. The cryptocurrency has gained 36 percent in the last 24 hours and is up 74 percent week-on-week.

Dollars reflected in droplets image via Shutterstock.

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