Category Archives: Cyber Security Awareness Month Tip

Encrypt your mobile devices.

Encrypt your mobile devices.

(Photo from – http://www.androidauthority.com/how-to-encrypt-android-device-326700/)

Encrypting important files on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device will ensure that if the device is compromised, the hacker won’t be able to read these important files.

  • To encrypt your files on Mac visit: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/encrypt-mac-folder/
    • This site will walk you through the process of encrypting your files.
  • An alternative to encrypting your mobile device would be to keep all personal information off of the device.
    • Limiting the amount of confidential information on your cellphone can greatly reduce the risk of being compromised if the device is lost or stolen.

Detailed information regarding device security and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you believe your device has been infected or compromised, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or HelpIT@fordham.edu

 

 

Strong passwords (or phrases) can keep you safe.

Strong passwords (or phrases) can keep you safe.

(Photo from – https://thehackernews.com/2016/07/best-password-manager.html)

Many of us have taken cyber security trainings that encourage us to use special characters such as the @ symbol for an “a” or $ for an “S”, however cyber-criminals have developed technology that can help them crack passwords that use these tactics.

  • Consider a passphrase instead.
    • Passphrases are a series of unrelated words that are being used in place of our traditional passwords ( 8 characters 1 capital and special character).
    • For your passphrase to be strong and secure be sure to use at least 4 unrelated words.
    • ILoveYorkiePuppies can still be cracked if the cyber-criminal has done their homework.
  • Too many passwords, and not enough memory?
    • Consider using a reputable password manager.
    • These services allow you to store your information for several sites securely
    • There are several options available, as with any software there are free and paid versions available.
    • Do your homework and find one youll feel confident using.
  • A few highly rated free versions include:

Detailed information regarding device security and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you believe your device has been infected or compromised, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or HelpIT@fordham.edu

Backup all of your devices, and do it often!

Backup all of your devices, and do it often!

(Photo from – https://www.fusionspan.com/backup-disaster-recovery-small-office/)

Backing up your files can help you if you are ever a victim of a cyber-crime.

  • Regular backups can help
    • Recover files that may have been ransomed or corrupted
    • Allow you to do a full wipe of a defected device
    • Ensure even in an accident ( such as water damage) your important files are safe to be recovered
    • Keep your device running smoothly
    • If you are doing regular backups you can go through and update important files and delete those you no longer need, therefore freeing up space and allowing your device to run effectively.
  • There’s more than one way to backup your important files
    • Create a backup or system image directly on the device.
    • Use reliable cloud storage.
    • Consider a portable device.
    • USB Flash Drives can be useful.
    • Consider the amount of data you are backing up and if it needs to be encrypted or not
    • Many options and sizes are available to meet your needs.
    • Ideal if you do not have a need to store a large amount of files.
    • USB’s can be easy to loose, consider password protection.
    • Remember the smaller the USB drive (in physical size not GB) the slower it maybe.
    • Portable External Hard Drives.
    • Have recently become more affordable
    • Also come in many different sizes, colors, and styles to meet your needs
    • Can be password protected and encrypted as well.
    • Would be ideal if you have a need to store a large amount of files as many being at 1TB

Detailed information regarding device security and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you believe your device has been infected or compromised, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or HelpIT@fordham.edu

Keep your mobile device safe!

Keep your mobile device safe!

(Photo from – https://www.thompsoncoburn.com/insights/blogs/cybersecurity-bits-and-bytes/post/2016-09-28/the-serious-security-vulnerabilities-of-mobile-devices)

  • Don’t think you’re device is safe from cyber-attacks or criminals.
    • Mobile devices are just as susceptible to the same types of attacks.
    • Including malware and phishing.
  • Use the same security on your mobile device as you would your personal or business computer.
    • Use a strong password
    • Passphrases are strong and hard to crack, use 4 or more unrelated words to create a difficult password for your device.
    • Such as PumpkinMovieCarStar
    • Alternate the letters you capitalize for additional protection, or add a special character as well.
    • It may take longer to log in, but it will ensure your device is secure
  • If you have a newer mobile device fingerprint recognition as well as facial recognition may be available.
    • Using these options allow you to unlock your device quickly, while ensuring it can’t be accessed by another party.
    • When using fingerprint recognition remember it allows you to store more than one print. Consider using one finger on each hand for ease of use.
  • If it connects to the internet, it should be protected.
    • Tablets, iPads, and net books can also be compromised.
    • Password protect these devices, encrypt important data on them
    • Do not save your user names and passwords on them.
    • Consider a password management system
    • Do not download applications from untrusted sites.
  • If your device has been compromised contact Fordham IT.
    • Contact Fordham IT and provide them as much information as you can.
    • Fordham IT will work with public safety and local law enforcement to help you attempt to recover your files and protect you from future attacks.

Detailed information regarding device security and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you believe your device has been infected or compromised, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or HelpIT@fordham.edu.

 

Additional steps to say protected.

(Photo from – http://everhelperblog.com/new-nimbus-note-iphone-manual-note-encryption/ )

Ransomware, and malware like other types of cyber-attacks can be prevented with regular maintenance and vigilance. 

  • Back up your files
    • Set your system to do regular backups of your important information.
    • Don’t forget to back up your mobile devices as well. Including tablets, iPads, and cell phones.
  • Encrypt your files whenever you can
  • Be sure to patch and update all of your software.
    • Your software providers are constantly working to keep your OS and applications running smoothly, this includes patches to close up vulnerabilities.
  • If you suspect any suspicious activity, or believe you may have downloaded a malicious file.
    • Disconnect from the internet, this way no other devices are affected on the network.
    • Contact Fordham IT and provide them as much information as you can.
    • Fordham IT will work with public safety and local law enforcement to help you attempt to recover your files and protect you from future attacks.

Detailed information regarding Ransomware or Malware scams and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or via email to: HelpIT@fordham.edu.

 

Don’t pay the Ransom!

If you find that your device has been compromised, and a cyber-criminal is demanding a ransom to release the files or access to your device, DON’T PAY IT.

  • Payment does not guarantee the return of your files.
    • Many cyber-criminals that use ransomware also have their version of helpdesks, which will work with victims to try to convince them to pay the ransom.
    • In some instances they will even release some of the files in a show of “good faith”, yet this alone will not ensure you will get all of your files released, or that they won’t demand more money.
  • Paying the ransom will basically fund their next attack.
    • Often times the amount the cyber-criminals are requesting doesn’t seem as high as expected, however this is because realistically if a home computer is compromised and the requested ransom is $300.00 it’s more likely the victim can and will pay.
    • Funds they receive are used to increase their reach and power.
    • Cyber-criminals rely on their scare tactics to try to get victims to pay.
    • Requesting immediate action gives the user the feeling that they have a limited amount of time to comply with request, or even that they have a limited amount of time to recover their files.
    • Keep in mind that as the cyber-criminals grow with technology, so does law enforcement.
  • If your device has been compromised contact Fordham IT.
    • Contact Fordham IT and provide them as much information as you can.
    • Fordham IT will work with public safety and local law enforcement to help you attempt to recover your files and protect you from future attacks.
  • Remember that prevention is the best medicine for all things cyber security.
    • Use antivirus
    • Keep your OS and Antivirus up to date
    • Run regular scans
    • Don’t open suspicious emails (unfamiliar senders, special offers, unexpected request)
    • Don’t download suspicious attachments

Detailed information regarding Ransomware or Malware scams and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or via email to: HelpIT@fordham.edu.

What is Malware?

Malware is a malicious software that is intended to disable certain files or the entire device it is attached to. There are different types of malware programs that each attack your device differently with the same end game, to infect your device, and hopefully others before you notice you’ve been compromised.

  • Trojan Horse Viruses
    • Similar to the Trojan Horse in the story of Troy, these viruses come in disguised as a legitimate program, and proceed to infect the system.
    • Once on the system Trojans can create a backdoor that can allow a cyber-criminal access to your device, which would in turn give them access to your personal information (SSN, and banking info). Trojans differ in that they do not reproduce by infecting other files, they also do not self-replicate.
  • Viruses
    • Are named for the way they spread, much like the flu, a virus can spread from user to user, but in order to replicate it depends on a host file. Meaning it needs to be downloaded to the device with the file the cyber-criminal created, so that it has access to the malicious code.
    • The goal of the virus is to alter the way the infected device operates. Some of the results include damaging the systems hardware and destroying data.
  • Worms
    • Are a version of malware that is self-replicating, unlike a traditional virus worms do not need to be controlled by a cyber-criminal, and do not rely on any additional computer applications for function.
    • The goal of a worm is to spread malicious code, exploit vulnerabilities, and spread across networks.
  • Pay attention when you’re opening emails
    • Often times we breeze through because we want to clear out inbox, but taking an extra minute to read the senders information and the subject line can keep you proceeded
  • If you don’t know the sender, don’t open the email or download any attachments.
    • Even if the sender is someone you’re familiar with or do business with, pay attention to the subject line, senders email address, and body of the email. Look for spelling mistakes, hover over any URLS to see where they will take you (DO NOT CLICK ON ANY SUSPICIOUS LINKS) and if possible contact the sender to verify the contents of the email.

Detailed information regarding Ransomware and Malware scams and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or via email to: HelpIT@fordham.edu.

 

Keep antivirus protection up to date. Get your free Antivirus software from Fordham University.

Using and keeping your Antivirus up to date is one of the major steps you can take to protect you from a Cyber Attack.

  • Tips for shopping for “Antivirus”
    • Like any other major purchase (while the cost may be competitive the use of the tool itself is a major key for cyber security) you should do a bit of research before grabbing something off of the shelf.
    • Consider your OS (operating System) while many major Antivirus’ should work cross platform, it wouldn’t hurt to look for a brand that is OS specific (Mac or Windows).
    • What are your needs? Do you use your device to surf, shop, game or just view and respond to emails?
    • Knowing what you need will help you determine how much protection you’ll want to buy.
    • If your current device is up to date, you may wish to locate an antivirus provider that will support your devices’ current OS.
    • Try to narrow down your search to a handful of hopefuls, then see if they offer free trials and give them a whirl.
    • The time you take to test drive each provider could help you find the right fit for your device, needs and budget.

Follow this link to get your free Antivirus issued through Fordham University: Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools for Windows or Bitdefender Endpoint Security for Mac

https://www.fordham.edu/info/20623/information_security/3853/antivirus_protection

For more information on selecting an Antivirus visit: https://www.lifewire.com/antivirus-software-for-your-pc-152983

Don’t forget to back those files up!

Each OS offers automatic system backups, which can prevent forgetting and not having everything backed up to date.

Detailed information regarding Ransomware or Malware scams and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or via email to: HelpIT@fordham.edu.

 

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that is installed onto your device once it is compromised, that will both take over important files on the device, or the entire device, and request a ransom be paid for the user to regain access. While ransomware isn’t new to the cyber criminals resume, other advances in technology have made it easier to request and receive untraceable payments. Making ransomware a very attractive option for cyber criminals.

  • Don’t pay the Ransom!
    • If you receive a message on your device indicating that you have been compromised, DISCONNECT your device from the internet so the malicious software isn’t spread.
    • Contact Fordham IT and provide them as much information as you can.
    • Fordham IT will work with public safety and local law enforcement to help you attempt to recover your files and protect you from future attacks.
    • There may be ways without paying to recover the files that are being ransomed.
  • BACK UP ALL YOUR IMPORTANT FILES.
  • Ransomware is banking on you desperately needing the files they’ve attacked, keeping your files backed up in different locations can reduce the effectiveness of this type of attack on your device.
    • Use an external hard drive these have recently become more affordable, and portable.
    • Fordham students and employees have access to unlimited storage on Google Drive, this can be used to help free up space on your device.
    • For important files backing up on an external device and using encryption would be ideal.
  • Prevention is the best medicine.

Detailed information regarding Ransomware or Malware scams and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or via email to: HelpIT@fordham.edu.fyhu

Take Fordham’s Cyber Security Awareness training.

 

 

Do you know the latest solutions for lowering your risk of getting hacked? Find out by taking our free, self-paced online Cyber Security Awareness training. It can be found under “My Organizations” in Blackboard, accessed at fordham.blackboard.com.

  • Stay informed.
    • Visit our website: itsecurity.blog.fordham.edu
    • We will be sure to keep you in the know with trends and possible breaches.
    • Follow us on social media as well for quick informative updates!
      • Twitter – @FordhamSecureIT
      • Facebook – @FordhamSecureIT

Other reputable news sources also include cyber security resources.

Such as

Just to name a few.

  • Find a source you trust and visit it frequently.

Detailed information regarding Identity Theft scams and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: www.fordham.edu/SecureIT or from our blog at fordhamsecureit.blogspot.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or via email to: HelpIT@fordham.edu.