In November, a presentation is planned for professional organizations in our area.  This represents a planning outline that will be further refined.  

 1. SECURITY = SEC-U-R-IT-Y was once shared by a class leader that “you are it“.  Careful and well planned human behavior is your BEST defense, even over technological safeguards.  Fort Knox has some of the world’s best security, but if the guards open the doors and let unauthorized folks in — what good is all of that fortification?  For the best safety for yourself, family, and corporately, one must “think security” and then integrate those concepts in all actions.

2. THINK DEFENSIVELY —   Avoidance is your #1 risk management tool.  For email or internet actions — safety should always be a primary concern.  It’s good to get secondary verification before acting on items.  When a site is encountered that will not allow you to exit — use CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to bring up task manager to close malicious web pages & exit safely.   Lock down your browser settings with restrictive security settings.  Patch immediately from trusted sources quickly to fortify your system.

3. THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK — Think of every action being potentially dangerous on Internet.  While most actions are safe, there is still the potential of danger.  It is better to pause and double check than to act to emotions or initial responses sometimes.   The good news is that it takes one or more clicks by the user to install most malware.  The bad news is that many folks click anyway, without realizing this gives permission to possibly plant malicious code in a stealth like manner on the system.

4. STAY INFORMED ON DANGEROUS RISKS – When a leading bank with restrictive security has millions of accounts compromised, it is a wake call for security to be a top safety theme in our well connected society.  Security is only as strong as weakest point.  Recently, telephone call scams pretending to be the IRS, Microsoft, and other entities have emerged.  However in most cases, they use postal mail to contact folks on serious matters.  These are scams intended to rob folks ultimately.   There are “no free lunches on the Internet” and the appeal of winning or being chosen, may temp users to click on unsafe items.  Please avoid temptations to click on even false news alerts.  A few years ago a bad European 100 year storm hit and there was a “Storm Worm” virus that impacted many users.   Today, there are false Ebola news alerts circulating and clicking those links may implant a virus.  Sensationalized news alerts can be used to trick user.  Stay informed on security news bulletins & visit beneficial blog sites to stay educated on the dangers.

5. STAY UP-TO-DATE ON SOFTWARE – Update Windows, Anti-Virus and all other products on your system as soon as this is offered. Stay on latest version of browser, flash, and other software. Reboot your PC often to give it a fresh start and ensure latest patched components load for your protection.

6. USE SECURE PASSWORDS – Use strong password techniques and don’t use the same one for each site, but vary them to reduce harm if the bad guys happen to discover one. Consider putting an asterisk (*) or exclamation point (!) at end of password that you like using. Use 2-pass security and other approaches in lieu of passwords when feasible.

7. WIRELESS NETWORK SAFETY – Use or setup these resources with security in mind, as unsecure connections can be easily intercepted. Be especially careful with your mobile smartphone as it can provide a wealth of personal and sensitive information, if lost or stolen.  Please consider wireless as HIGH RISK both at home or away.

8. PHYSICAL SECURITY – Carefully handle laptops or mobile phones while traveling by air or driving or at hotel. Hide, lock, and secure these resources. Encrypting the hard drive is beneficial for frequent travelers and anyone desiring high levels of security.

9. RECOVERY FROM SECURITY EVENT – When personal information has been compromised or malware infections occur, quickly change all passwords, alert banks, change account numbers, and take other actions to minimize damages associated with loss of information.  The key is to quickly change credentials for anything that has been disclosed and ensure your security in future processing is restored under new & improved controls.

10. SECURITY IS A CONTINOUS IMPROVEMENT PROCESS – the bad guys are improving their tactics & defensively we must proactively respond as developments occur. The defense mechanisms of five years ago won’t work for today’s threats. Security requires re-thinking and re-evaluation of safety techniques constantly.