We need to take responsibility for our own safety online

We need to take responsibility for our own safety online

Shanton Chang, Associate Professor in Information Systems at University of Melbourne, says "Going online without understanding the basics of how the internet works is like getting behind the wheel without knowing the road rules: you might still get where you’re going, but you could be a danger to yourself and those around you.":

theconversation.com/we-need...

While I don't expect you'll read Shanton's article, as Shanton says; "At a certain point, we need to take personal responsibility and educate ourselves about how to use the internet safely."

So PLEASE do yourselves a BIG favour if you haven't already done so and at least skim through the two posts I'm been maintaining on the very basics you should know to keep yourselves safe online:

Online Security Starts with YOU!

healthunlocked.com/cllsuppo...

Is your computer/phone/tablet secure?

healthunlocked.com/cllsuppo...

And here's a bonus:

10 tips for spotting a phishing email

healthunlocked.com/cllsuppo...

Neil

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  • First sorry for slow reply.

    Many thanks for reminder on online security.

    One thing I remember you posting on several times (after various security breaches last year) was the importance of regular password changes, and choosing good strong passwords. So I guess it is more than time for a change. One bad thing lots of us do is use the same or very similar passwords on differnet accounts. That means a breach in one can open up a pandoras box to the hackers, and remember they use automated programs when in the mood . . .

    So if anyone has any tips for managing the multiple passwords they have then that would be helpful (not giving away any security clues to compromise their security of course)

    If you do have to write anything down for your own passwords then make sure that is all done cryptically, and only in a way that you can possibly understand, and haven't documented anywhere.

    And many thanks for reminding us about online security. We have enough to keep us busy with CLL to deal with, and don't need the extra stress and hassle of a security breach.

    Kind Regards,

    Ernest

  • Thanks Ernest, for your reply and the tips and question on password management.

    Password managers can greatly help with the onerous task of generating passwords and keeping them aligned across different platforms. Change a password on your PC and that password is automatically updated on the password manager instance installed on your tablet/netbook/smartphone. There's the (slight) risk associated with having all your password eggs in one basket, which is why I haven't yet switched to using one, though I've been sorely tempted. They do avoid the risk associated with writing down passwords. I obscure my important ones as you mention, but the obscurity often defeats me. (Can I claim that's due to CLL fatigue?)

    For those interested, here are a couple of reviews on the better ones available, some of which are free:

    lifehacker.com/5529133/five...

    < pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2... >

    (HU can't handle the commas, but you should be able to paste the above into your browser address to get there.)

    To reiterate the important facts with passwords:

    1) As Ernest says, have different passwords for at least your critical sites (banks and sites where you've left or have access to information you want kept secure)

    2) Longer passwords with a larger range of characters (upper and lower case, numbers and punctuation) are best

    3) As you say, change your passwords more frequently at critical sites (and particularly immediately if you hear that a site you use has been hacked. (I'm guilty too of not changing my important passwords regularly. That's not good practice, given that it can often be several months after the fact that we hear that sites have been hacked.)

    Neil

  • Sadly, proving my point about the importance of regularly changing your passwords for critical web sites, the U.S. healthcare provider Premera Blue Cross has suffered a data breach that resulted in a potential compromise of personal, financial and health-related information of as many as 11 million applicants and members. The breach was detected on January 29, 2015, and the investigation mounted by the company and by forensic investigators from Mandiant has revealed that the initial attack happened on May 5, 2014. The FBI has also been notified, and is involved in the investigation.

    net-security.org/secworld.p...

  • Anthem also...

    Anthem, the second-largest health insurer in the United States, has suffered a data breach that may turn out to be the largest health care breach to date, as the compromised database holds records of some 80 million individuals.

    net-security.org/secworld.p...

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