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Cyber security: 10 tips for protecting yourself online

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Did you know that one in eight Internet users (or 378 million adults) became victims of cybercrime last year according to a Norton Cybercrime Report? Instead of avoiding the Internet – a nearly impossible task – make an effort to smarten up your online habits with our new Online Security Resource Center coming in November and these 10 ways to keep you safe on the Internet:

protect yourself online

  1. Keep your computers and mobile devices updated – Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
  2. Set strong passwords with at least eight characters in length and a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
  3. Use different passwords for every account – It may be easier to remember one password, but if the password and email address you use for one account gets in the hands of the wrong person, they will start trying it on other sites and services.
  4. Think before you click – Be vigilant about the links you click in an email, especially when they come from companies. Don’t click on odd Facebook messages with links. If your friend is sending the email, make sure it sounds like the person you know; otherwise his or her account could have been compromised.
  5. Watch out for phishing scams that use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with. Report phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  6. Keep personal information personal – Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, mother’s maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.
  7. Secure your Internet connection - Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.
  8. Shop securely online – Avoid sending payment information or credit card numbers through email. Make sure all personal information transactions are done on a secure site. When shopping online, only use trusted, secure websites. And before providing any personal or financial information, make sure the address bar changes from an “http” to an “https” address and includes a yellow padlock logo to the right of the Web browser address bar. The “s” stands for “secure,” and if you double-click on the yellow padlock logo, you’ll see a digital certificate for the website. When shopping online, use credit cards, not debit cards. This will minimize the damage in the event of a compromised account.
  9. Read the site’s privacy policies – Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.
  10. Pay attention – It might seem obvious, but remember to keep your eyes open any time you’re using an Internet service.

Be sure to read the rest of our advice on protecting your mobile device and the ways cyber criminals try to steal your information.

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Source: American Bankers Association

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Matheys serves as senior vice president and Director of Corporate Information Security & Privacy, providing oversight of UMB’s information security and privacy programs. She joined UMB in 2010 and has 15 years of experience in information technology and information security. She attended Kansas State University with a focus on management information systems and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.



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Cyber security: 10 tips for protecting your mobile device

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Your mobile device provides convenient access to your email, bank and social media accounts. Unfortunately, it can potentially provide the same convenient access to criminals. As we continue National Cyber Security Awareness Month, remember to always follow these tips from the American Bankers Association in conjunction with the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign to keep your information – and your money – safe.

protect your mobile

  1. Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices – This makes it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
  2. Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
  3. Use caution when downloading apps – Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
  4. Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps. These contain valuable security patches and fixes for vulnerabilities.
  5. Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
  6. Be aware of shoulder surfers – The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
  7. Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
  8. Beware of mobile phishing – Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. Be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
  9. Watch out for public Wi-Fi – Public connections aren’t very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.
  10. Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.

Next week we’ll share 10 tips to protect yourself online to wrap up National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

 

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Source: American Bankers Association

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Matheys serves as senior vice president and Director of Corporate Information Security & Privacy, providing oversight of UMB’s information security and privacy programs. She joined UMB in 2010 and has 15 years of experience in information technology and information security. She attended Kansas State University with a focus on management information systems and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.



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Wait a minute…who’s been sending emails from my account?

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Did you know every day thousands of webmail accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) are taken over by cyber criminals? Compromised webmail can be used to make purchases, transfer money from bank accounts or even trick friends and family into giving out information that allows access to their webmail – in a matter of minutes.

Take time to do a few simple things to ensure your webmail accounts are as secure as possible:

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Passwords

Weak passwords can be easily hacked and used to access your account.

  • Avoid using the same password on numerous accounts. This may make your email vulnerable if another site is compromised.
  • Change your password often.
  • Use strong passwords. For example, think of a special phrase and use the first letter of each word as your password. For more tips, visit OnGuardOnline.gov

Security Questions

Even a strong password can be compromised if security questions are easy to guess.

  • Make sure answers can’t be researched on social media sites.
  • Pick a question that only you know the answer to.
  • Choose the custom security question option if available.

Phishing Email

Phishing scams use a convincing message to trick you into clicking a link, downloading attachments or other “bait” that can be used to log your online activity, give a cyber criminal control of your computer or even direct you to a phony website where you’re asked to enter your username and password. All of these can be used to commit online crimes. To avoid phishing scams:

  • Look for misspellings or grammatical errors.
  • Question suspicious email; don’t click questionable links or download attachments that appear out of the ordinary, even if from a friend or company you’re familiar with.
  • If you aren’t sure, OnGuardOnline.gov provides help for identifying phishing scams.

Review Account(s)

The best protection against cyber crime is staying alert.

  • Check sent, trash, and other folders for suspicious incoming or outgoing mail.
  • Check advanced account options for changes you didn’t make. Your email may be forwarded to someone else and you didn’t even know it.
  • Investigate security options offered by your provider like notices for suspicious log-in attempts or two-step verification using a code that’s texted to your phone.
  • Regularly review financial accounts associated with your email address for suspicious activity.
  • Contact your bank and all other financial institutions immediately if you think your email has been compromised.

Don’t fall victim to cyber crime. Take time to secure your webmail accounts and encourage friends and family to do the same.


Ms. Matheys serves as senior vice president and Director of Corporate Information Security & Privacy, providing oversight of UMB’s information security and privacy programs. She joined UMB in 2010 and has 15 years of experience in information technology and information security. She attended Kansas State University with a focus on management information systems and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.



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