Securing your credit files and credit cards

This is the third blog post in a series of posts about security.  The first was email security, the second was about passwords.

Now that you’ve secured your email, installed a virus checker, and are using a password manager, you can move on to dealing with the Equifax hack.   Continue reading “Securing your credit files and credit cards”

Passwords as primary computer security

From the movie spaceballs:

Dark Helmet: So the combination is one, two, three, four, five. That’s the stupidest combination I’ve ever heard in my life! That’s the kinda thing an idiot would have on his luggage!
[President Skroob walks in.]
Skroob: What’s the combination?
Colonel Sandurz: One, two, three, four, five.
Skroob: One, two, three, four, five? That’s amazing! I’ve got the same combination on my luggage!
[Colonel Sandurz and Dark Helmet give each other a look.]
Skroob: Prepare Spaceball 1 for immediate departure!
Colonel Sandurz: Yes sir.
Skroob: And change the combination on my luggage!

Continue reading “Passwords as primary computer security”

Email Security

There are six significant risks to your security associated with anyone’s use of email:

  1. Opening files that contain viruses, usually these are attachments to emails sent to you.
  2. Getting what looks like an ‘Official’ email and clicking on a link and typing in your username and password into a bogus site.  This is called ‘Phishing’.
  3. Having your email account stolen and losing your contacts, this allows the thief to send trusted emails to your friends and family.
  4. Having your email account stolen and losing the sensitive contents like passwords or really private information stolen (see Hillary Clinton’s Campaign)
  5. Being stupid. Don’t think that you can get 5 million dollars from an African potentate.  Don’t taunt a spammer.
  6. Email is transmitted without encryption from your computer to your recipients computer and all hops in between.   Don’t send passwords or sensitive documents via email.

The first two categories involve what you do when reading email, the second two involve securing your email account. Continue reading “Email Security”

Post Equifax computer security

Some thoughts on computer security post Equifax.  Equifax is different from say the 2013 Yahoo hack that stole usernames and passwords.  Equifax has a full file of your social security number, your drivers license number and a collection of assets, loans and bank accounts.  Yup they have been collecting data on each of us for years.  So someone could impersonate you with all this stuff and you might not know it.