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Cyber Security #Tips for the #Holiday #Season

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Cyber Security Tips for the Holiday Season

We all know how important it is to use the internet safely, but during the holiday season, it’s even more important to protect your sensitive information from cyber criminals. With a 31% increase in fraud attempts during the holidays, frequent online shoppers and internet users should consider taking a proactive approach to protecting their computers, online files, financial accounts, and identity information.

5 Tips for your Online Security During the Holiday Season

1. Update Your Computer

Although it seems obvious, among daily computer users, nearly 66% of them will delay or forget to install suggested software updates — even when it’s marked “securitycritical”. Setting up automatic updates is the best way to avoid the inconvenient reboot, and ensures your software is bug free and hack resistant.

2. Protect Your Network

The easiest way to protect your internet connection is to use a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs create an encrypted connection protecting your data from other network users or cybercriminals. For tech savvy individuals, you can check out this information on advanced network security.

3. Secure Your Cloud Data

No matter what time of year it is, protecting the information stored within your online cloud is essential. From sensitive client information to personal data, today we use our clouds to store almost everything. However, it’s possible that the transfer of data in and out of the cloud could be vulnerable to attack– especially if you’re using an unprotected network. However, cloud encryption software like ours can give you peace of mind while accessing your online data.


4. Avoid Password Duplication

When creating a new account, or accessing a frequently used one, it’s important to use entirely new and unique passwords to prevent and avoid compromising other accounts using the same password. Incorporating numbers, letters, and special characters into your password makes it much harder to guess or hack. If you use unique passwords for every account, a hacked password cannot be applied to your other accounts. Remembering multiple unique passwords can be tough, so consider installing a secure password manager such as this one from Sticky Password.


5. Defend Your Identity Information

Using all of the above security strategies, a proactive individual is far less likely to be the victim of credit fraud or identity theft. However, detecting compromised information can be difficult, and unless you frequently check your credit report and billing statements for unknown use or surprises, it’s possible to go unnoticed. To prevent this, consider enrolling in an identity theft protection and monitoring service to defend yourself against future cyberattacks and fraud.

Boxcryptor – Security for Your Cloud

Boxcryptor is a software Made in Germany that allows data to be encrypted automatically before it is stored in the cloud. More than 20 of the popular cloud storage services can be used with Boxcryptor. We encrypt your files using state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption technology. Through zero knowledge encryption, no one else (including us as the provider) has access to the encrypted files except the registered user.

Of course, here at Boxcryptor, we are concerned about cybersecurity and data privacy all year round. But the holidays are a great opportunity to once again intensively deal with the settings of your devices, your update behavior, and habits.

The advantage of using Boxcryptor for your cloud security: Once it is set up, the encryption runs in the background. This means, if you take a little time over the holidays to get started with Boxcryptor, you have a good set-up for the protection of your data in the New Year.

The post Cyber Security #Tips for the #Holiday #Season appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

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Cybersecurity #Tips to Help #Retailers and #Consumers Stay #Secure During the #Holiday Season

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

It’s time to take advantage of all those holiday specials and spend all your hard-earned bitcoin — er, I mean money — buying gifts for friends, family and, of course, yourself. Many retailers, large and small, online and brick-and-mortar, run holiday promotions as early as September. Gone are the days of waiting until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to take advantage of sales and specials.

The bad guys will be shopping, too — just not for the same items you are. Instead, they will be shopping for your wallet.

It’s true that some cyber Grinches ramp up their malicious activities during the holiday season, perhaps in the form of holiday-specific spam, spear phishing or compromised sites. While increased vigilance is encouraged during this time, there are a number of cybersecurity tips and best practices consumers and retailers should follow throughout the year to help mitigate threats. Having the right controls and awareness in place before the holidays can go a long way during the busy shopping season.

For Retailers: Vigilance Encouraged Throughout the Year

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are heavy shopping days and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. However, IBM X-Force research conducted over the past few years revealed that there was no significant uptick in network attacks targeting X-Force-monitored retailers during the traditional holiday shopping period in late November. In fact, last year, the volume of attacks for those two days fell below the daily attack average for retailers.

However, now that the shopping extravaganza lasts for two or more months, it’s possible that this four-day window is too short of a time period to identify notable network attack trends.

So far in 2017, network attacks targeting retail networks were highest in Q2, with June being the most-targeted month. Attacks dropped notably beginning in August and have been steadily declining, with the volume of attacks monitored for October below the monthly average for the year.

Time to celebrate? Not necessarily. In 2016, we observed a notable surge in the volume of attacks targeting retailers in mid to late December. Additionally, malware compromises occurring earlier in the year that have gone undetected can wreak havoc once the busy season commences. In December 2016, a security researcher discovered that nearly 7,000 online stores running Magento shopping cart software were infected with data-stealing skimmer malware capable of logging credit cards and passwords and making them available to attackers as image files for exfiltration.

Furthermore, bad actors do not have to steal anything to wreak havoc on the retail industry. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is enough to cost the sector millions. In fact, the average cost of DDoS attack for organizations across all industries rose to over $2.5 million in 2016.

Retailers are encouraged to monitor their networks with increased vigilance during this holiday season. Vulnerable point-of-sale (POS) systems, compromised websites, and targeted spam and phishing campaigns can be costly.

To help keep your security posture strong over this holiday shopping season and all year long, review and implement the recommendations outlined in the IBM report, “Security Trends in the Retail Industry.”

For Consumers: What Cybersecurity Tips Are Missing From Your Repertoire?

Many online consumers have improved their security awareness as media coverage and education opportunities have increased. However, below are a few cybersecurity tips that many consumers likely haven’t thought of.

Assess Convenience Versus Risk

Our digital interactions leave data trails. Finding the right balance between personalization and privacy is the consumer’s responsibility, not just the retailer’s. Many sites have the option to save your card data for future use. While this feature offers convenience to the consumer, the stored data can be stolen via SQL injection attacks or other database compromises — after all, there are billions of leaked records due to misconfigured servers. Always look for the green lock icon in the browser address bar to ensure a secure connection to websites.

Be Wary of Unsuspicious Emails

Criminals have gotten really good at devising phishing lures that are extremely difficult to recognize as fraudulent. Receive an attachment from someone that appears to be in your contact list? Call them to confirm. Order something online? Before clicking the “track package” link in the confirmation email, ensure that it is actually an item you purchased from the correct vendor.

Use Passphrases and Multifactor Authentication

Exercise strong password hygiene by choosing to use a long, easy-to-remember passphrase, such as “ipreferpassphrasesoverpasswords,” instead of complex passwords containing a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Unfortunately, this is not always an option since many websites now require a password that contains this combination. Use different passphrases for each site. If this seems too daunting, use a password manager. Rather than managing dozens of passphrases on your own, you’ll just have to remember the one key to your digital vault.

Always opt for multifactor authentication when available, and figure out which option is the most secure when choosing a real-time short message service (SMS) text message, an email message or an automated phone call.

Get Creative With Security Questions

When setting up new accounts, opt for security and password reset questions that aren’t public to make it harder for fraudsters to get their hands on your information. For example, don’t use your mother’s maiden name, which could be easily found online. Even answers to opinion-based questions, such as favorite movie, food, etc., can be found on social media. For increased security, lie about your answers or use passphrases as the answers.

Skimmers Abound

By now, you have most likely heard of skimmers being placed on the card readers at gas stations and bank ATMs. A skimmer is a hidden device placed inside the mouth of a payment card reader that is designed to copy your card data for criminals to user later. But what about in-store POS systems? Be on the lookout for suspicious-looking card swiping terminals that could be skimmers, or cash register attendants who seem to swipe your card on two different readers. Maintain this vigilance not only during the holiday season, but all the time, especially if you travel to other countries.

Know Your Card Security Features

Banks and credit card companies have implemented some great security features, such as being able to set limits on the number of times the card can be used within an hour or on the amount that can be spent on one purchase. However, if you’re unaware of these limits for your personal accounts or your phone number is not up to date in your bank profile, you may end up with a declined card.

Cover Your Card

Is the person in line behind you taking a selfie, or is he or she taking a picture of your card as you make a purchase? By obtaining the credit card number, name, expiration date and the card security code or card verification value on the back, an attacker may be able to use the information to make online purchases.

Keep Your Guard Up Year-Round

The holiday season is a great time to take stock of the past year while relaxing and spending time with loved ones, but it’s no time to let your guard down, especially given the increasing sophistication of cybercriminal tactics targeting holiday shoppers and sellers alike. We encourage retailers and consumers to follow best practices not only this holiday season, but also all year long to help mitigate attacks and compromise.

The post Cybersecurity #Tips to Help #Retailers and #Consumers Stay #Secure During the #Holiday Season appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

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DDoS attacks are up but are the hackers on holiday?

DDoS attacks are up but are the hackers on holiday?Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Complex DDoS attacks (distributed denial of service) are growing in popularity, but a noticeable drop in the number of attacks overall leaves us wondering where the hackers have gone. The first quarter of 2017 appears comparatively quiet to the previous cyber storms the world has weathered, […]

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How Deep, Active Listening Helps Reduce Holiday Stress – Leadership 360 – Education Week

Leading an organization requires deeper listening. Especially, at this time of year, we need to be listening for those who are silent and for those who are alone or angry. They may need our help.

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Mobile Holiday Shopping Tips: How To Keep Your Personal And Credit Card Information Secure While Shopping With Your Smartphone

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Mobile Holiday Shopping Tips: How To Keep Your Personal And Credit Card Information Secure While Shopping With Your Smartphone

The rise of mobile apps and online stores has made it easier than ever for consumers to shop from their phones without the need to step into a store. But hackers and digital thieves have taken notice of the pool of mobile data as a growing opportunity for larceny. Part of the reason for this is poor data practices by app developers — the storage of payment and personal data in apps — which leaves customer details ripe for the picking from devices. The other is the lack of good security practices by consumers. Whatever the cause, it’s an attractive target for fraudsters. “Shopping apps are close to financial apps in what they store,” said Andrew Hoog, CEO of mobile security testing company NowSecure. “They store user names, passwords, credit cards, geolocation data and even buying habits.” With that in mind there plenty of steps consumers can take to protect their data this holiday season. One of the steps Hoog recommends is avoiding public Wi-Fi as much as possible when making mobile purchases. The reason for this is by their open nature, public hotspots aren’t secure, and it’s easy for an attacker to either pose as a fake access point and gather […]

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

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Online holiday shopping: 4 tips to keep you safe from cyber-crime

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Online holiday shopping: 4 tips to keep you safe from cyber-crime

Online fraud spikes during the holiday shopping season, as people searching for the perfect gifts take to cyberspace and head to traditional stores armed with their smartphones. “The Pandora’s box of cyberattacks is about to open,” says Pete Tyrrell, chief operating officer for Digital Guardian, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based dataPROTECTION firm. “The cybercriminals are getting more and more creative — and at the end of the day, it’s your personal information at risk.” Here are some tips for protecting yourself and your information from online Grinches. Beware of gifts of free wi-fi It’s awful tempting to sign on to a store’s free Wi-Fi while you’re out shopping, especially since store walls are notorious for blocking or weakening smartphone data connections. But fraudsters also may be lurking on the networks, ready to use that connection to stealCREDIT CARD or other personal information. “People may want to log on to their Best Buy or Amazon accounts to check prices, but open Wi-Fi is probably the least secure place to do that,” says Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. And never use open Wi-Fi connections to checkBANK ACCOUNTinformation. The last thing you want a hacker to have is a direct […]

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

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Identity theft on rise during holiday shopping season

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Identity theft on rise during holiday shopping season

People all across the world jumped into holiday shopping by looking for theBEST DEALS on Cyber Monday. However, because of all the shopping, online customers are seeing an increased risk of identity theft. Officer Beth Glover of the Lee’s SummitPOLICE Department says cases of identity theft are on the rise this time of year. As a result, police are increasingly joining forces with other areas to put a stop to the crimes. Lee’s Summit is currently a part of The Heartland of America RegionalCOMPUTER FORENSICS Lab (HARCFL), which tracks cyber crimes in parts of Missouri and Kansas. Officer Glover also says metro police are working with the Secret Service and other federal law enforcement to try and decrease cases of identity theft. CREDIT CARD theft has definitely increased over time,” Glover explained. “We didn’t see this type of activity 10 or 15 years ago. Just over the last few years we have seen an uptick in reporting.” POLICEgive the following tips to online shoppers to help them avoid getting their identity stolen: •         Use aSECURE website: One way to tell is by searching for “https” in the address •         Avoid using public Wi-Fi when buying things online •         Only use […]

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

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How to halt credit card fraud this holiday season

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

How to halt credit card fraud this holiday season

Hundreds of financial institutions issue credit cards to millions of individuals. Today, more than 77% of U.S. consumers carry one or more credit cards, and nearly three quarters of cardholdersuse them for holiday shopping. But now credit card fraud is more frequent than ever. Nearly 32 million 3 U.S. consumers were victimized by credit card breaches last year, with the holiday shopping season a particularly vulnerable time. Not all issuers — and credit or debit cards — are the same. Choose wisely when opening a credit or debit card account with a financial institution; the decisions you make now will either haunt or comfort you should you ever be victimized by fraudulent activity. “By working hand-in-hand with your bank or credit card company, you can reduce the chance of being victimized during the holiday shopping frenzy — and less impacted should a breach occur,” said Pam Codispoti, president of Chase Consumer Branded Cards. “Using the right technologies and techniques can keep your cards — and your reputation — secure.” Source: http://mashable.com/2015/12/01/holiday-credit-fraud-brandspeak/#BLQZXtTQREqg

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

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Protecting Yourself From Credit Card Fraud This Holiday Season

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Protecting Yourself From Credit Card Fraud This Holiday Season

The Greensboro Police Department is warning residents about the dangers ofCREDIT CARD FRAUD and ways to avoid becoming a victim. Cyber Monday is just the start of a surge inONLINE SHOPPING across the country, which means more opportunities for identity thieves to take advantage of shoppers. Greensboro police say they’ve seen 473 cases ofCREDIT CARD FRAUD in 2015. Police could not say how many of those originated online, but they say it’s important to be very careful when shopping on the internet. According to NASDAQ, nearly 32 million Americans had theirCREDIT CARDSbreached in 2014. Forty-five percent of those breaches happened online. Officer E.Y. Watkins, with the Greensboro Police Department, says the key to protecting yourself is to pay attention. “There’s a lot of deals to be had, but you don’t want to be the person that’s being had,” Watkins said. “So, check and make sure that that website you’re going to is a legitimate website, make sure that if they’re asking you questions that are making you feel uncomfortable, like your socialSECURITY number — when you’re making a purchase — that’s something they probably shouldn’t be asking for.” Here are some other online shopping tips from the Greensboro Police Department: Shop trusted names. Stick […]

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

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Avoiding scams during the holiday shopping season

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Avoiding scams during the holiday shopping season

With the upcoming holiday season, many are going to open their pockets, but unfortunately, some unwelcome hands may attempt to grab New Yorker’s wallets. That reality prompted the officials at Governor Cuomo’s office to encourage online vigilance from New Yorkers who may shop or give to charities during the holiday season, especially on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday. “Today’s technology makes online shopping incredibly convenient with just the click of a mouse or swipe of a screen,” Margaret Miller, New York State’s Chief Information Officer, said. “While these technologies make transactions much easier for the consumer, they also make cybercrime much easier for a hacker.” Nationwide, NYS officials say cybercrime cost Americans $1.7 billion in 2014. To avoid becoming a statistic, officials recommended the following: Do research before buying:  Buy from merchants and websites you know you can trust: Don’t visit websites that seem too good to be true, nor just because you found the link on a blog or an advertisement. Many times they can be fake websites. Watch out for ads that aim at misleading you: Read the fine print always and don’t fall for illegitimate merchants. Don’t click on pop-up advertisements and email links: Just […]

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

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