National Cyberspace Security Awareness Month is an opportunity to engage and inform the community about cybersecurity. During October, the UM Information Technology department will share important information, tips, and resources that will focus on different cybersecurity issues, including cybercrime, mobility, and online safety.
This week’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month article focuses on cybercrime. Today, as with any commercial enterprise, cybercrime has evolved into a complex, highly organized operation. Combating cybercrime requires a combination of strategies and techniques. In order to protect yourself and the University against cybercrime, follow a few key social media safety tips:
• Privacy and Security Settings: Every social media network has its own unique privacy and security settings. Take the time to ensure you understand the features and limitations of each environment. Take note of messages from the network, as the settings are likely to change more often than you would expect. In some cases, changes to security settings have actually loosened security and required users to modify their settings in order to return to their original level of security and privacy.
• Third Party Applications: Be especially careful when using third party applications (i.e., Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc.) on social media platforms like Facebook. Even when the main site has certain privacy and security settings, the application developer may not be adhering to the same security principals and may disclose your information inappropriately.
• Once Posted, Always Posted: Even if you’re able to delete postings, once you have posted the information, you should expect the information has been made public. While you control security settings for your account, you certainly do not control settings for the individuals you interact with, so even when you limit communication among those members of your inner circle, any one of those individuals may allow for overly permissive sharing with others, and thus expose your information.
• Keep Personal Information Private: Your social security number may not be as difficult to discover as you may think. Due to the way SSNs have historically been assigned, a hacker may breach your number with a few pieces of information: full name, birthday, and place of birth. Be aware when posting personal data as part of your profile(s) on social media platforms, and remember that it may be publicly accessible.
Other important measures to safeguard against cybercrime:
- Maintain your computer and mobile devices with the latest software and security patches.
- Enable your computer’s operating system firewall.
- Install and maintain up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware software.
- Ensure ISP-related equipment, such as your Wi-Fi router, is configured with a firewall.
- Beware of phishing scams and never enter any personal or ID/password information into pop-up windows.
- When in doubt, immediately call your IT support.
If you have questions or concerns related to this topic, please contact email@example.com.