september

Access Control - Rudy Bar the Door

The derivation of the expression “Katie, bar the door” is uncertain, but the meaning is clear - take precautions before trouble arrives on your doorstep. This archaic admonition is apt for defending our many digital doors, too. Shady characters can come calling in our email, texts or phone via phishing, SMSishing or vishing (a veritable Dr. Seuss book of nefariously-named knocks).

Complicated hacking cartoonCartoon explaining hacking is as simple as a phone call

What are these unwelcome visitors after? Data. Information they can turn into cash directly (like login credentials to access financial accounts or credit card numbers) or indirectly (like details used for subterfuge convincing us to hand over money).

Can we really “bar the door” to our personal and confidential data? Aren’t those hackers super-powered cyber-criminals, able to crack the toughest of locks? Actually, no. Like most casual criminals, hackers prefer the easy route. They’re looking for the house with the garage door up, the unlocked car, the unchained bike.

Here are some easy ways to bar the door to opportunistic hackers:

  • Is 2FA offered for a service you use? Use it! We can’t emphasize this one enough. 2FA is the deadbolt to your front door. If your key/password gets swiped, 2FA provides that extra, uncrackable defense for your account. This website categorizes popular services that offer 2FA - take a look!
  • Are there privacy setting you haven’t reviewed in awhile? Update them! Especially with social media, publicly-viewable content could provide fodder for scam artists trying to convince you they’re legit. If it doesn’t need to be public, lock it down. UT provides this resource for managing your social media privacy settings.
  • Is your home wi-fi password-protected? Check it! Remember, the default passwords for wi-fi devices (and all those gadgets that hook to it) are readily available online, so make sure you’ve changed them to something unique.

Internet of ransomware things

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