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Disclose at Your Own Risk

How else can you enhance your cyber security? We glean tips from Shirley Wong, co-chair of the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance.

 

LIMIT THE PERSONAL DATA YOU PROVIDE

When a person or website requests such information, ask yourself if it’s standard practice. When in doubt, check first. And limit the personal data you post on networking sites and forums.

NEVER SEND SENSITIVE INFORMATION VIA E-MAIL OR AN INSTANT MESSAGING SYSTEM

This includes credit card numbers and bank account details. If you receive such requests, verify the authenticity of the contact, then provide the data directly – via phone or in person.

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT.

Look out for people near you when you type in your PIN at an ATM, enter your credit card number while shopping online, or key in your login credentials online. Looking over someone’s shoulder to pick up sensitive information is a method still used by cyber criminals.

DON’T SHARE SENSITIVE INFORMATION WHILE USING A PUBLIC COMPUTER OR AN UNSECURED WIRELESS CONNECTION.

Don’t log in to banking and credit card sites or make online purchases during those sessions. Carry out financial transactions at home on a secure network.

PASSWORD-PROTECT ALL YOUR GADGETS.

Use strong passwords to make it harder to access your personal information on computers, laptops and smartphones. A strong password consists of at least eight characters combining letters with numbers and special characters.

ENCRYPT PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL DATA STORED ON YOUR COMPUTER.

That way, if your laptop or computer is stolen, cyber thieves will find it harder to access your personal information and you’ll be less likely to suffer from identity theft.

USE A PERSONAL FIREWALL.

Firewall software hides your computers from hackers, gives you control over all Internet traffic on your computer and automatically blocks intruders who may try to get at sensitive data.

USE ANTI-VIRUS AND ANTI-SPYWARE SOFTWARE.

Update them regularly. Anti-virus software protects your computer and data from malware (such as viruses, worms and Trojan horses). Anti-spyware software will prevent cyber thieves from monitoring your web-surfing habits.

DON’T OPEN AN UNKNOWN E-MAIL OR INSTANT MESSAGE ATTACHMENT.

Unless you know who sent it and what’s inside, don’t open it. Make sure your anti-virus software scans both e-mail and instant message attachments.

 

By Stella Thng, Simply Her, March 2015

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