Robert Siciliano

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      Robert Siciliano
    • Member Type(s): Expert
    • Title:Identity Theft Expert
    • Organization:IDTheftSecurity.com
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    • Member:ProfNet

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    Is Your Small Business Staff Trained in Security Awareness?

    Thursday, February 15, 2018, 10:55 AM [General]
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    The Ponemon Institute released a shocking statistic: about 80% of all corporate data leaks is due to human error. In other words, it only takes a single staff member to cause a huge issue. Here’s a scenario: Let’s say that you have an employee, Betty. Betty is lovely. We love Betty. But when Betty is checking her personal email during her lunch break and sees she has an offer that promises a 10-pound weight loss in only a week, she clicks the link. She wants to learn more about it, so she clicks the link in the email. What she doesn’t realize is that by clicking that link, she just installed a virus onto the computer. In addition, the virus now has access to your company’s network.

    This was a very simple act, one that most of us do every day. However, this is why it is so important that your staff is up to date on security awareness. How can you do this? Here are some tips:

    • Present your staff with information about being aware of security, and then come up with a set up where you send them a link they want to click on. This is a process known as “phishing simulation.” If your staff members click on the links, and they probably will, it will take them to a safe page. However, on the page is a message telling them that they fell for a scam, and though they are safe this time, there could be great repercussions.
    • The staff members who click the link should be tested again. This way, you will know if the message got through.
    • Make sure when you give these tests that it isn’t predictable. Send the emails at different times of day and make sure they look different and have a different message. For instance, don’t send the “lose 10 pounds” email twice.
    • Think about hiring someone, a stranger, who will try to get your staff to give them sensitive information about your company over the phone, through email, or even in person. This is a valuable test, as it helps you to determine who the “weak links” are in your company.
    • Give your staff quizzes throughout the year to see who is paying attention to security.
    • You should focus on education, not discipline, when you are doing this. Don’t make them feel bad or punish them. Instead, make sure they know what they did wrong and work on not doing it again.
    • Ensure that your team knows that a data breach can also result in financial, legal, and criminal problems.
    • Schedule checks of workstations to see if any employee is doing something that might compromise your company’s sensitive data. This includes leaving information on a screen and walking away.
    • Explain the importance of security to your staff, and encourage them to report any activity that seems suspicious.
    • After training and testing your staff, make a list of all concepts that you want them to understand. Look at this list often, and then evaluate it time and time again to see if anything needs changed.
    • Don’t forget company officers. When company officers are omitted from this kind of training it poorly reflects on the organization. Some security personnel are afraid to put their Executives on the spot. That is a huge mistake. Security starts from the top.

    Remember, there is nothing wrong with sharing tips with your staff. Post them around the office and keep reminding them to stay vigilant. This helps the information to remain fresh in their minds, and helps you to recognize those who are taking security, seriously.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

    Storing Water for Survival

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 10:49 AM [General]
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    Do you think you know all there is to know about water storage? Most people think they have a good grasp on it, but they are in for a bit surprise. Below, there is a lot of information about storing water that might contradict what you think you know:

    Storing Barrels – You can keep storage barrels on a basement or cellar cement floor. Cement that remains cool doesn’t transfer any toxins into the water. However, if the cement is warm, such as garage cement that might get heat from the driveway, you must store the barrels on floorboards. Also, store some of your water in bottles that are portable so they are easy to handle.

    Reusing Your Bottles – You can refill old soda and juice bottles with water as long as there is a PET or PETE rating on the plastic. Do not use old milk jugs, however. If you are worried about leaching chemicals, you can treat the water…just make sure to do it when you consume it, not when storing it.

    A Full Boil – You don’t have to boil your water fully to kill all of the bacteria in it. Instead, heat it to 160 degrees F for 30 minutes, or heat it to 185 degrees F for three minutes. This burns less fuel, too.

    Drink Pool Water – Pool water is okay to drink as long as it is under 4 PPM of chlorine.

    River Water – You can also drink river water, but treat it with iodine tablets, first. Keep in mind, in a survival situation, the river is where everyone will go.

    Store Enough – Ideally, you should store more than a month’s worth of water. A huge disaster could mean many months, or even years, of water shortage.

    Daily Amount – Each person requires about a gallon a day. This includes for drinking, cooking, and bathing.

    Water vs. Food – Though food has calories that your body needs, water is much more important. You can go for many days, or even weeks without eating. However, you can onlyhandle a couple of days without water.

    Taste – The water that you store might taste bad because it has been closed off from oxygen. Pour it between two glasses, back and forth, to get more oxygen into it.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

    Top 10 Signs of a Malware Infection on Your Computer

    Thursday, February 8, 2018, 10:05 AM [General]
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    Not all viruses that find their way onto your computer dramatically crash your machine. Instead, there are viruses that can run in the background without you even realizing it. As they creep around, they make messes, steal, and much worse.

    Malware today spies on your every move. It sees the websites you visit, and the usernames and passwords you type in. If you login to online banking, a criminal can watch what you do and after you log off and go to bed, he can log right back and start transferring money out of your account.

    Here are some signs that your device might already be infected with malware:

    1. Programs shut down or start up automatically
    2. Windows suddenly shuts down without prompting
    3. Programs won’t start when you want them to
    4. The hard drive is constantly working
    5. Your machine is working slower than usual
    6. Messages appear spontaneously
    7. Instead of flickering, your external modem light is constantly lit
    8. Your mouse pointer moves by itself
    9. Applications are running that are unfamiliar
    10. Your identity gets stolen

    If you notice any of these, first, don’t panic. It’s not 100% that you have a virus. However, you should check things out. Make sure your antivirus program is scanning your computer regularly and set to automatically download software updates. This is one of the best lines of defense you have against malware.

    Though we won’t ever eliminate malware, as it is always being created and evolving, by using antivirus software and other layers of protection, you can be one step ahead. Here are some tips:

    • Run an automatic antivirus scan of your computer every day. You can choose the quick scan option for this. However, each week, run a deep scan of your system. You can run them manually, or you can schedule them.
    • Even if you have purchased the best antivirus software on the market, if you aren’t updating it, you are not protected.
    • Don’t click on any attachment in an email, even if you think you know who it is from. Instead, before you open it, confirm that the application was sent by who you think sent it, and scan it with your antivirus program.
    • Do not click on any link seen in an email, unless it is from someone who often sends them. Even then, be on alert as hackers are quite skilled at making fake emails look remarkably real. If you question it, make sure to open a new email and ask the person. Don’t just reply to the one you are questioning. Also, never click on any link that is supposedly from your bank, the IRS, a retailer, etc. These are often fake.
    • If your bank sends e-statements, ignore the links and login directly to the banks website using either a password manager or your bookmarks.
    • Set your email software to “display text only.” This way, you are alerted before graphics or links load.

    When a device ends up being infected, it’s either because of hardware or software vulnerabilities. And while there are virus removal tools to clean up any infections, there still may be breadcrumbs of infection that can creep back in. It’s generally a good idea to reinstall the devices operating system to completely clear out the infection and remove any residual malware .

    As an added bonus, a reinstall will remove bloatware and speed up your devices too.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

    The Natural Predatory Nature of Humans

    Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 10:13 AM [General]
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    A study published in Nature shows us that both evolution and genetics have made a big impact on the behavior of humans…including in the case of murder. However, as we have become more civilized, these instincts have been muted.

    Scientists have looked at the rate of homicide in more than 1,000 species, and they noticed something interesting: The rates of these lethal acts are similar, which means that evolution of each species can give us a good idea of how violent each species really is.

    This study states that humans are part of a violent group of similar mammals. These mammals all evolved at the same time, together. Plus, all of these mammals have murderous and violent pasts. So, what does this mean for us? It means that we are violent today because our ancestors were violent.

    When you look at all mammals, about three in 1,000 are murderers. However, when you specifically look at humans, the average over time is about 20 in 1,000. Furthermore, when you examine certain time periods, such as the medieval period, this rate rose to about 120 murderers in 1,000. These numbers have fortunately fallen, however, and today, it stands at about 13 murderers per 1,000 people.

    So, we are killing each other much less frequently today than we used to 1,000 years ago. However, we are still not as peaceful as other mammals. For instance, killer whales, which we believe to be quite violent, have a murder rate of almost zero against their own species.

    We are much more violent than whales, but when we compare our murder rates to those of cougars, baboons, or lemurs, we are less violent. All of these animals have a murder rate of about 100 per 1,000.

    Since this research looked at violence by comparing species that are closely related, it is not surprising that these species are similarly violent. It is also interesting that the more closely related a species is, the more similar their instances of violence.

    It’s quite difficult to actually calculate the rates of violence among our ancestors, but we are able to get a good idea thanks to archaeological evidence. It was found that by looking at these sites, that violence rates were lower among people who had some type of government or culture. This also suggests that murder rates among a species can be reversed. In fact, this evidence shows that it can decrease or increase based on ecological, cultural, or social factors. This evidence is similar to what was found in a study done at Harvard, which specifically looked at violent crimes including rape and murder.

    When looking at these facts, we find that humans are territorial and social, but also naturally violent. As we have developed over time and found more civilized activities, our rates of violence have gotten lower. What’s even more interesting is that most mammals aren’t murderers towards their own species…but some, such as lions, wolves, and primates, which includes humans, engage in violent actions.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

    Get a Credit Freeze NOW Before it's Too Late!

    Thursday, February 1, 2018, 10:35 AM [General]
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    What is a credit freeze? It’s an action you take to lock down your credit report. A lender can’t see your score, which means your Social Security number and credit rating is useless to them. In other words, they can’t tell if you are risky or not.

    When an identity thief can access your ID aka Social Security number, they can also create credit in your name. However, if your credit file is frozen, the bad guys can’t access it any longer. With a credit freeze, your credit file is inaccessible.

    To get access to your frozen credit, when you need to new line of credit, you have to use a credit bureau issued PIN to unlock or unfreeze it. It’s easy. Freezing a credit report doesn’t affect any existing lines of credit, and the process is free for those who are victims of identity theft. For almost a decade, the big three credit bureaus, Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax, allow non-victims to pay a small charge and also get their credit frozen.

    When is it a Good Idea to Freeze Your Credit?

    If you are a person who has had their identity stolen, you should freeze your credit. If you have a Social Security number you are a target. If you breathe you are a potential victim. Make your SSN useless to the thief by freezing your credit

    What You Should Know Before Freezing Your Credit

    Before you freeze your credit, there isn’t much to know. You should simply do it. Your credit should always be frozen from all transactions, and retailers, banks, and lenders have spent many millions trying to stop it. Why? Because this stops them from instantly approving a credit line. They are not concerned about your identity, only their bottom line.

    What does it Cost to Freeze your Credit?

    The fee for freezing your credit varies based on the credit bureau. It might be free or there might be a small fee. The state Attorney General determines the rate. You must pay a $5.00 fee to lift the freeze.

    Is Freezing Your Credit Inconvenient?

    Freezing your credit is not an inconvenience. It only takes a couple of minutes to freeze and unfreeze your credit file. Of course, you need to unfreeze before getting approved for credit. That simply means prior to initiating an application for credit, you need to spend 5 minutes administrating the thaw. This boils down to a simple change in the current process which makes you more secure. Think of a freeze as putting on your seatbelt. It’s just something you have to do.

    Does a Credit Freeze Harm Your Credit?

    Nope. It doesn’t affect your credit score at all. And exiting creditors can still do “soft” checks on your credit.

    Doesn’t a Fraud Alert Do the Same Thing?

    A fraud alert only lasts for 90 days, and the bad guys can still access your credit file and apply for new credit. This informs a creditor that you might have had your ID stolen, but they can still, and do, issue credit. At their best, fraud alerts simply notify lenders that something might be going on with your identity. It’s really just a false sense of security.

    Where You Can Go to Freeze Your Credit:

    To freeze your credit with Equifax, click here.

    To freeze your credit with Experian, click here.

    To freeze your credit with Trans Union, click here.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

    40 Practical Tips to Keep You Home Safe and Secure

    Thursday, January 25, 2018, 10:02 AM [General]
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    You have undoubtedly seen tips for protecting your home, but you might not have seen them all. In no particular order, here are 40 tips that you can use today to keep professional burglars from targeting your home and keep safe from hazards: 

    1. Install a peephole.
    2. Keep your doors locked all of the time.
    3. If you do not have a large dog, set it up so that it looks like you do. Get a worn leash and drape it over a chair outside or place an old dog bowl with water out on your deck.
    4. Speaking of dogs, place a “beware of dog” sign on your property, specifically the back.
    5. Do not leave ladders outside. At least lock them up.
    6. Never leave the garage door open unless you are watching it at all times.
    7. If there is no man living in the home, leave an old pair of men’s work boots out near the front door.
    8. Place fake…or even real…video cameras outdoors near the front door.
    9. Install a security system that includes lights with motion detectors at all points of entry.
    10. Use deadbolts on all doors.
    11. Stash your valuables in socks inside of your child’s room, such as in the closet up high. Burglars rarely check a child’s room.
    12. You should also store valuables in a locked, fireproof safe.
    13. Don’t conceal your windows with shrubbery. Instead, plant thorny bushes by all of your windows.
    14. Cover windows with penetration-proof film. Keep shades down and all curtains drawn during the night.
    15. Make sure there are no valuables that potential burglars can see through the windows.
    16. Consider building a “secret room” in your home, like a panic room.
    17. If travelling, put a hold on your mail and newspaper delivery. Also, make sure you have someone mow your lawn and talk to a neighbor about parking their car in your driveway.
    18. When away at night, set up a timed lighting system.
    19. Do not post any vacation or evening plans on social media…they are watching.
    20. Check all of your windows and make sure the locks work. Keep your windows locked at night.
    21. Put a home security sign in both the front and back yard of the home.
    22. Put security company decals on your windows.
    23. Don’t answer the door unless you have a visitor that you are expecting.
    24. Clean up brush or dried leaves from the yard. These are excellent hiding places for thieves.
    25. Make sure your voice mail recording doesn’t tell callers that you are not home.
    26. Make sure the address numbers on your home are large and easy to see for police responding to an alarm.
    27. When getting service in your home (technicians, installers, cleaners etc), check windows after they leave. They might unlock windows for burglars.
    28. When working with salespeople, service people, survey takers, cabbies, or anyone else, do not reveal any travel plans.
    29. Keep all flammables away from your home.
    30. If you smoke, rinse all butts with water. Only then should you throw them away.
    31. Do not leave the home if you have a candle or fireplace burning.
    32. Unplug all countertop appliances when not in use.
    33. Give your spare key to a neighbor that you trust. Do not leave it under flower pots, welcome mats, or plastic rocks.
    34. Your front and back door can easily be kicked in. Install high-grade door reinforcement kits, such as Door Devil Door Reinforcement. Google it. I have 2, and I love it!
    35. Do not leave hot things plugged in, such as irons or hair straighteners, unless you are using them at the moment.
    36. Always have a phone near your bed for emergencies.
    37. If a man shows up representing an alarm company, assume that he is a bad guy. Don’t let him in. Don’t even open the door.
    38. Do not allow delivered packages to sit outside the door. Only accept packages that you can sign for.
    39. Before leaving your home, turn your home phone’s ringer off. This way, burglars will not hear unanswered rings.
    40. Buy a lifesize card board cut out of a sports figure or superhero that can be displayed in any window in your home. This gives the impression someone’s always home.

    Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.

    Protecting Your Parents from Identity Theft

    Thursday, January 25, 2018, 10:00 AM [General]
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    According to statistics, those who are 50-years old and older, like 65-85, are often targets of identity thieves. The bad guys have no issue taking advantage of your parents. They violate their trust, and understand that they are often naïve about the internet and scammy phone callls. Cyber criminals also know that older people have retirement money and more savings, and this money is ready for them to take. Here are some of the common scams that the bad guys use:

    Common Scams Against Older People

    • The bad guys might send them an email saying that they are from the IRS, CIA, FBI, or even a bank. The email says that there is a problem that needs the recipient’s attention. The scammers then ask for information like their Social Security numbers, bank account information, and more.
    • Another scam is to pull on their heart strings. In this case, the scammer calls the person and claims to be someone they know, like a grandchild, who needs money wired because it’s an emergency.
    • Scammers also try to take advantage of people by using their home’s information. If they can access the deed of a person’s home, they can use other information, like their bank account number and Social Security number and can refinance the home. Then, of course, they get all of that money and the person living there is none the wiser.
    • Crooks also focus on people in retirement homes. They get a job at these homes, and then manipulate the residents to give them personal information.
    • They seek out the lonely. If your parent is single because of divorce or death they are a target. Loneliness often trumps common sense. There’s a level of desperation that predators seek out.

    Preventing Scams Against Your Parents

    You probably want to do all that you can to prevent this from happening. Here are some methods you can use:

    • Become the main guardian over the personal information and financial accounts of your parent’s. This way, when your parent is contacted by a suspicious person, they must go through you to get any information. Even information like your mother’s maiden name might be used to commit identity theft down the road. Make sure your parents know that they shouldn’t ever share personal information and any and all requests for any money must go through you. No matter how persistent the person on the phone or via email is.
    • Don’t ever share personal or identifying info on a social media site. Criminals will target your parents in “Grandparents Scams” posing as their grand children in distress using social profiles as research.
    • Make sure your parents know to check their credit card and bank accounts quite often. You should also set up text or email alerts about their accounts.
    • Get your parents a shredder. All bank statements and any other sensitive information should be put through the shredder. Crooks love to go through trash to find old statements and other information that they can use.
    • If your parents use Wi-Fi, show them how to use a VPN. Hotspots are not protected and scammers use them often.
    • When writing an obituary, don’t use any details that a crook could use to steal an identify. Sadly, the bad guys use this information in terrible ways.
    • Explain the importance of email safety. Phishing is very common, and even if an email looks safe and legitimate, no one, including you or your parents, should click a link in an email.
    • Help your parents understand that there is a difference between http and https. Tell them that if a website has http, it is not secure, so they shouldn’t share personal information.
    • You can also help your parents opt out of any unnecessary offers. Go to the website comand sign up.
    • Work with your parents to freeze their credit.

    Stay Aware of Scammers

    Do not allow your parents to be a scammer’s next victims. You can easily prevent this, and most importantly, your parents won’t have to go through the stress of rebuilding their credit and recovering their identity. One of the most important things that you can do is to be aware of these scams.

    Protect the Identity of Your Parents

    All of us are vulnerable to identity theft, and we can’t protect ourselves 100% of the time. However, by doing things like signing up for identity theft protection or doing a credit freeze can help to keep us all safe.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

    10 Surefire Staff Security Awareness Techniques

    Thursday, January 18, 2018, 2:50 PM [General]
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    Think about how great this would be: Imagine that all of your company data is safe from hackers. Your hardware is totally safe and secure. You have IT specialists at your disposal at all times and have a constant flow of cash to pay them.

    Unfortunately, this is a fantasy for most of us. No matter how secure we think our network is or how much we pay our IT people, there is always a chance for a data breach. Does this mean we should stop the fight, though? No way.

    Instead of throwing in the towel, it’s very important that you start focusing on security awareness, and this starts with teaching your staff how to handle sensitive company data and keep it safe from the bad guys. Here are some strategies that might work to get the message across:

    • Make sure that every employee on your staff understands how important security is, especially at their own workstation. Each employee you bring on in the future should also be instructed in this before being allowed to access the company’s network.
    • Safety, security and privacy policies must be in place and must address all the necessary concerns required to keep all data in check. Review these policies with new and current employees.
    • Set up some fake “phishing” emails to see if any of your staff take the bait. This fake set up will get the point across to your staff without putting your network at risk.
    • Set up a policy that terminates any employee that is involved in a data breach. This is a great incentive to keep company information safe.
    • Install software onto your network that can detect when your staff is doing something that they shouldn’t be doing. This software isn’t meant to discipline staff. Instead, it’s meant to alert them when they are doing something dangerous that could put sensitive information at risk
    • Make sure your staff understands all of the cyber-attack warning signs. This way, they can easily spot anything suspicious.

    Maximize Security Awareness in the Workplace

    Here are eight ways to further maximize security awareness in the workplace:

    1. Create a Baseline – Before you can get any type of awareness training going, it’s important to know where you stand. So, do something like a fake phishing email and see how many employees fall for it. This way, you know how much work you have ahead of you.
    2. Remain Realistic with Social – Thinking that you can totally ban any activity that puts your network at risk, such as social media, isn’t very realistic. Instead, teach your employees to be careful when using these websites. Show them example after example of how social posting has gone south ending up in firings.
    3. Use the Right Tools – Stock your arsenal with the right tools. There are programs out there that can help with security awareness in the workplace. “Phishing simulation training” is a quick search.
    4. Use your Creativity – Even if you don’t have a lot of cash to use, you can still make this a fun learning process for your staff. For instance, if its Christmas time, hand out candy canes to your staff, but around each candy, put a small paper with the company’s security policy printed on it.
    5. Get the Help of High-Ranking Execs – If you can get the execs to help you out, employees are likely to listen. How can you do this? Mention the term “return on investment” and relate it to your company’s security. You can be sure that this will get them moving. And remind them that company officer are being fired left and right when there is a data breach.
    6. Bring in Other Departments – It also is a good idea to bring in other departments to help with security awareness. Even people that might not be connected to your network, such as cafeteria or housekeeping staff, can be helpful. You should also make sure to involve your HR department, because they can usually encourage staff to follow policies. Accounting needs to have a say too.
    7. Evaluate Your Plan Often – Every 90 days, take a look at how your program is doing. This is quite effective. To avoid any type of information overload, you should take it slow, too. Perhaps only introduce security topics every three months or so, and then evaluate employee performance 90 days after.
    8. Provide Security “Appreciation” training – This goes beyond security awareness training into the realm of getting into cultural and societal misconceptions, myths and inaccuracies that perpetuate a lack of accountability. Example: “It can’t happen to Me” is total BS and is a form a denial preventing people from being proactive.
    9. Personalize the Experience – Some employees won’t get serious about things until they are affected. So, make sure that your staff understands that security awareness is about them, too, not only the executives of the company. Make sure they also know that they can use the same practices at home to keep their personal information safe.

    Teach Them Actual Self Defense – Might sound crazy, but understanding how to save their own lives or the life of a loved one in the event of a physical attack provides an enormous amount of perspective. This is one simple way to open one’s mind on the value of security.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

    Take the Extra Step: 12 Ways to Protect Your Home from Burglars

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 10:26 AM [General]
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    Though you cannot totally protect your home from getting burgled, you would probably be surprised to know that there are no burglars that are as sophisticated as someone like Ethan Hunt from the Mission Impossible movies. However, when you have the right plan in place, you can almost make your home burglar-proof.

    When most people think about their home’s security, they only think of a couple of things, such as fake cameras. Though these are nice to have, they don’t fully protect you. A fake camera isn’t going to stop a burglar from kicking in the door. Speaking of the door, the only thing that is separating you and your belongings from a thief is ½ inch piece of pine molding. This isn’t enough. A 12-year-old boy could kick that in, in fact. Instead, it’s best to reinforce your door:

    • Install deadbolt/door knob wraps – these devices strengthen the area around the location of the lock
    • Door bar jammer – this device is put under the doorknob to stop it from moving
    • Door brace – this device makes it difficult to use brute force to kick it down
    • Door frame reinforcement – this is installed on the door and is made of steel

    You also might consider something like a Door Devil. This is a kit that features a device molded from steel It is placed over the jamb of the door, and then screwed into the frame. It’s very easy to install, and adds another level of protection for your house. When you combine a device like the Door Devil with other types of security, such as a security system, detection lights, or cameras, it is difficult for a burglar to get in.

    Here are 12 more tips to keep the burglars out:

    1. Keep all of your doors locked, even if you are home, and even if it is light out.
    2. Keep your curtains and blinds shut. This ensures that no one can peek inside of your house to check out your valuables.
    3. Use door reinforcements on each and every door and use top-flight locks.
    4. Place security films on the windows. This helps to strengthen the panes and prevents any object from coming in, including baseball bats and crow bars.
    5. Bring in all newspapers and mail in as soon as they get there.
    6. Give your home a look that it is lived in, even if you aren’t home. Set up automated lights to be on at night.
    7. Put a pair of scuffed and worn men’s work boots at the doors of your house.
    8. If you park your car in the driveway, place a pair of men’s gloves on the dashboard. When burglars see this, they often think twice about breaking in because they believe a large, burly man lives in the house.
    9. Put a large dog bowl outdoors by the door, and make it look real. Add a leash or chewed up dog toys, too.
    10. Trim up any shrubs that hide points of entrance into your home.
    11. Go online to the Google News site. Type in your city and state, and then the phrase “door kicked in.” Take a look at those results. You will likely be shocked by what you read.
    12. Consider buying a new home security system. The best systems out there not only give you a full alarm package, but also offer cameras, police monitoring, and a video feed, that allows you to view what’s happening in your home when you are not there. This way, you can easily watch the cameras from your mobile phone or tablet.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft preventionvideo.

    Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data

    Thursday, January 11, 2018, 10:22 AM [General]
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    Do you have employees who bring mobile phones to work and use those devices on the corporate network? Do they store company data on these “Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD)”?? Does your company have a policy in place for this?

    First, the moment a person brings in their personal phone to work, there is a fusion of personal and business tasks that occur. And, equally as bad, company issued devices are used for personal use as much, if not more than the employees own devices. Not sure you believe this? Here are some stats:

    A recent survey asked 2,000 office workers about their habit of using their personal mobile devices at work. Here’s what it found:

    • 73% of people admit to downloading personal apps to tablets they got from their company.
    • 62% of people admit to downloading personal apps to mobile phones they got from their company.
    • 45% of people admit to downloading personal apps to notebooks they got from their company.
    • The people who were most likely to do this were in the 25 to 38-year-old age group.
    • 90% of people use their personal mobile devices to conduct business for work.

    As you can see, a lot of people are using their mobile devices on the job, and this could not only put your company data at risk, but also the data associated with your clients. Do you have a plan to minimize or even totally prevent how much sensitive company data is wide open to hackers?

    Solutions to Keep Sensitive Business Information Safe

    Decision makers and business owners should always consider their personal devices as equal to any business device. You definitely don’t want your sensitive company information out there, and this information is often contained on your personal mobile or laptop device. Here are some things that you can do to keep this information safe:

    Give Your Staff Information About Phishing Scams

    Phishing is a method that cybercriminals use to steal data from companies. Studies show that it is extremely easy for even the smartest employees to fall for these tricks. Here’s how they work: a staff member gets an email with a sense of urgency. Inside the email is a link. The body of the email encourages the reader to click the link. When they do, they are taken to a website that either installs a virus onto the network or tricks the employee into giving out important company information.

    Inform Your Staff that the Bad Guys Might Pose as Someone They Know

    Even if you tell your staff about phishing, they can still get tricked into clicking an email link. How? Because the bad guys make these emails really convincing. Hackers do their research, and they are often skilled in the principles of influence and the psychology of persuasion. So, they can easily create fake emails that look like they come from your CEO or a vendor, someone your staff trusts. With this in mind, it might be best to create a policy where employees are no longer allowed to click email links. Pick up the phone to confirm that whatever an email is requesting, that the person who sent it is legitimate.

    Teach Employees that Freebies aren’t Always Goodies

    A lot of hackers use the promise of something free to get clicks. Make sure your staff knows to never click on an email link promising a freebie of any kind.

    Don’t Buy Apps from Third-Party Sources

    Apps are quite popular, and there are many that can help to boost productivity in a business setting. However, Apple devices that are “jailbroken” or Android devices that are “rooted” are outside of the walled garden of their respective stores and susceptible to malicious viruses. Make sure your employees know that they should never buy an app from a third-party source. Only use the official Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

    Always Protect Devices

    It’s also important that you advise your employees to keep their devices protected with a password. These devices are easy to steal since they are so small. If there is no password, there is nothing stopping a bad guy from getting into them and accessing all of the accounts that are currently logged into the device.

    Install a Wipe Function on All Mobile Devices Used for Business

    You should also require all employees to have a “wipe” function on their phones. Even if they are only doing something simple, like checking their work email on their personal mobile device, it could get into the wrong hands. With the “wipe” function, the entire phone can be cleared remotely. You should also require employees to use the setting that erases the phone after a set number of password attempts.

    Require that All Mobile Devices on the Company Network Use Anti-Virus Software

    It’s also important, especially in the case of Android devices, that all mobile devices on the network have some type of anti-virus software.

    Do Not Allow Any Jailbroken Devices on Your Company’s Network

    Jailbroken devices are much more vulnerable to viruses and other malware. So, never allow an employee with a jailbroken phone to connect to your network.

    All Employees Should Activate Update Alerts

    One of the easiest ways to keep mobile devices safe is to keep them updated. So, make sure that all employees have update alerts enabled, and make sure that they are updating their devices when prompted or automatically.

    Teach Employees About the Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

    Finally, make sure your staff knows the dangers of using public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi connections are not secure, so when connected, your devices are pretty open. That means, if you are doing things that are sensitive, such as logging into company accounting records, a hacker can easily follow. Instead, urge employees to use a VPN. These services are inexpensive and they encrypt data so hackers can’t access it.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.


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