“The only secure computer is one that's unplugged, locked in a safe, and buried 20 feet under the ground in a secret location... and I'm not even too sure about that one.”
—Dennis Hughes, first chief of FBI computer investigations unit
You’ve read the headlines: security breaches, stolen identities, hacking of accounts, and the list goes on. Safer Internet Day is February 7; it’s a day dedicated to raising awareness on safe and responsible use of Internet and technology.
Consider this, according to the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, in 2015:
- More than 430 million new pieces of malware (software intended to damage computers and devices) were discovered. Up 36 percent from the previous year.
- Over half a billion personal records were stolen or lost.
- Over 75 per cent of all legitimate websites have major security vulnerabilities.
- Increase of 55 per cent in spear-phishing campaigns (targeted email used for malicious purpose, such as stealing data or installing malicious software) targeting employees.
Don’t be one of those statistics. Read our tips for browsing safely.
- Be aware of the risks. If you use the internet, you open yourself up to risk. Staying informed about online risks can save you from clicking the wrong link, opening a malicious attachment, or sharing too much information.
- Safeguard information. When entering personal information online, search for signs that the information will be secure, such as a URL that begins with “https”, or the padlock icon within the browser window.
- Update software often. Set up your computer for automatic software and operating system updates. An unpatched machine is more likely to have software vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by the hackers.
- Install Protection Software. Download a good anti-virus program and make sure you regularly check that it is downloading any updates.
- Protect sensitive data. Reduce the risk of identity theft. Securely remove sensitive data files from your hard drive, which is also recommended when recycling or repurposing your computer.
- Use email and the internet safely. Be wary about the links you click online. Ignore unsolicited emails, and be wary of attachments, links, and forms in emails that come from people you don't know, or which seem "phishy." Avoid untrustworthy (often free) downloads from freeware or shareware sites.
If ever you suspect you’ve inadvertently clicked a malicious link, or opened/installed a compromised file, immediately contact the Service Desk.