Information Security – Practical Tips
Information Security is becoming an increasingly sensitive issue in modern society due to the increasing computerization of services and the resulting increase in the number of attacks. Cherry Bank is aware that an integrated approach to solving this problem is necessary, so in addition to having high security systems and standards for the services it offers, it wanted to produce this guide on Information Security to explain the main threats to its Customers and to provide useful tips to defend against cybercrimes
Protect your computer
Install antivirus and antispyware software by making sure they are always up-to-date. Use a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to your computer. Use automatic updates (patches) of your operating system. Patches can often repair security holes that can leave systems exposed to threats. Make periodic backups of the data on your computer (documents, images, etc.) to prevent them from being lost in case of virus infection.
Use secure passwords
Use long passwords that contain digits, punctuation characters, symbols and uppercase and lowercase letters in this way they will be more difficult to crack or deduce by trying all possible combinations. Avoid using words, nouns, proper or geographical names contained in dictionaries. Avoid using personal information that can be retrieved via the Internet (date of birth, name of partner or children, phone number, etc.). Use different passwords for each account so that even if a hacker manages to crack one of your passwords, only one account will be hacked.
Avoid making purchases from links contained in unprotected online messages, such as emails, social media posts, or instant messages. Read, before buying, user reviews of sites where you want to buy to check their reliability. Make purchases only through Web sites that include the use of encryption. The link will begin with “https://” (the “s” stands for “secure”) instead of “http://.” Also look for the padlock icon in the browser status bar. Check bank statements, especially after making Internet purchases, to make sure that all payments listed are legitimate.
Be wary of e-mails that request passwords and bank details or that include links to perform such transactions. They are usually not personalized and contain a generic message requesting personal information for unspecified reasons (e.g., expiration, loss, technical problems, archive update, etc.). Banks do not send such messages. Avoid selecting links in junk mail messages. Phishers can use these links to redirect you to a fictitious Web site. Better to type the site address in the appropriate bar to navigate to the authentic page. Forward any suspicious e-mails to the organization directly involved. Many companies have a mail address set up specifically for such reports.
Install a spam filter to avoid receiving unwanted or unsolicited e-mail messages. Use two e-mail addresses: a primary one for more important activities (Banking services, dealing with institutions, etc.) and a secondary one for less important activities (registering on online sites, participating in surveys, etc.). Avoid openly posting the e-mail address on social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). Avoid using an easily deducible e-mail address containing first name, last name and other personal data.
Download apps only from official stores such as Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Check the permissions required by apps by being wary of apps that require access to system functions that do not seem to have much to do with the app’s purposes. Keep the operating system and apps up to date and install antivirus software.
Use the privacy settings available to prevent unauthorized people from viewing your information. Always be extremely careful about the links you click on (hackers can compromise a friend’s account and use it to spread malware or other malicious content). Do not accept friend requests from people you do not know; they can hide fake accounts created specifically to steal your information. Hide your e-mail address (intruders could steal your account because of your published e-mail address).
Avoid using Internet banking or other activities that require personal information on public wireless networks (airports, bars, hotels and other public places) because communications could be intercepted.
Keep up to date
Always keep abreast of new cyber threats. Knowing means starting to defend yourself.