Are you cyber ready?

Are you cyber ready?

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The 75th Air Base Wing Communications and Information Directorate is currently holding a cybersecurity awareness campaign. Also known as Information Assurance, IA is a critical piece of cybersecurity, which encompasses computer security, communications security and emissions security.

IA representatives will be sending out several cybersecurity-related documents to their respective units over the next few weeks.

The following tips will help ensure users can satisfactorily answer the question, “Are you cyber ready?”

Ethical use of your government computer

• Don’t view or download pornography

• Don’t gamble on the Internet

• Don’t conduct private business or money-making ventures

• Don’t load personal or unauthorized software

• Don’t make unauthorized configuration changes

• Only check personal e-mail if your organization allows it

• Don’t play games unless allowed by your organization to do so on personal time

Tips for peer-to-peer (P2P) and unauthorized software

P2P software can:

• Compromise network configurations

• Spread viruses and spyware

• Allow unauthorized access to data

To protect information systems:

• Don’t use unauthorized peer-to-peer (P2P) software

• Don’t illegally download copyrighted programs or material

Beware of cookies

A cookie is a text file that a Web server stores on your hard drive. Cookies may pose a security threat, particularly when they save unencrypted personal information. Cookies also may track your activities on the Web.

To prevent cookies from being saved to your hard drive:

• Set your browser preferences to prompt you each time a Website wants to store a cookie

• Only accept cookies from reputable, trusted Websites

• Be especially aware of cookies when visiting e-commerce sites or other sites that may ask for credit card or other personal information

• Confirm that site uses an encrypted link

• Look for “h-t-t-p-s” in the URL name

• Look for an icon to indicate encryption is functioning

Note: Not all https sites are legitimate, and there is still a risk to entering your information online.

Malicious code tips

Malicious code can do damage by corrupting files, erasing your hard drive, and/or allowing hackers access. Malicious code includes viruses, Trojan horses, worms, macros, and scripts and can be spread by e-mail attachments, downloading files, and visiting infected Websites.

To prevent viruses and the download of malicious code:

• Turn off automatic downloading

• Scan all external files before uploading to your computer

• Don’t e-mail infected files to anyone

• Don’t access Websites in e-mail or popups

Mobile code tips

Mobile code can be malicious code.

To prevent damage from malicious mobile code:

• Require confirmation before enabling ActiveX or other mobile code technology

• Only allow mobile code to run from your organization or your organization’s trusted sites

• Contact your security POC or help desk for assistance, especially with e-mails requesting personal information

Home computer security

Defend Yourself! Keep your identity secure, and prevent identity theft.

• When working at home on an authorized computer, follow these best security practices, derived from the NSA datasheet “Best Practices for Keeping Your Home Network Secure.”

• Turn on password feature, create separate accounts for each user, and have them create their own passwords using a strong password creation method

• Install all system security updates, patches, and keep your defenses up to date

• Keep anti-virus software up-to-date

• Regularly scan files for viruses

• Install spyware protection software

• Turn on firewall protection

• Require confirmation before installing mobile code

• Change default logon ID and passwords for operating system and applications

• Regularly back up and securely store your files

• Beware of sudden flashing pop-ups that warn that your computer is infected with a virus: this is a malicious code attack!

• Check the resources page. Some agencies may have discounted/free anti-virus software available to their employees

For more information on IA, call 801-777-6976.

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