Tuesday Tips: Stay Calm and Take Care of the Fundamentals

Don Miller

bTrade is participating in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month.  One aspect of our efforts is “Tuesday Tips,” by which we try to dispense some useful (hopefully) cybersecurity information to our readers via the MFT Nation blog.

First Tuesday Tip:  Stay calm amid the uproar about data breaches.

It’s rare when a day passes without some news of a data breach.  All forms of media are disseminating stories of doom and gloom surrounding all the data breaches.  Despite all this, you have to stay calm because there are things you can do to deal with the situation.

Second Tuesday Tip:  Be aware.

We’re not saying you should ignore news/information about data breaches.  On the contrary, you should stay abreast of developments.  If you don’t have time to scour all this info/news feeds, just follow a trusted source for data security information.  Speaking of a trusted source (hint, hint), you might want to follow bTrade and this MFT Nation blog.  I’m just saying…. Seriously, though, I recommend that you take a look at our past posts.  I think you’ll find they contain a lot of good information, and we are intent on continuing that in the future.

Third Tuesday Tip:  Rely on Homeland Security’s US-CERT page.

There is so much free cybersecurity prevention information available. For example, to learn more about software and applications, visit Homeland Security’s US-CERT tips and advice page at www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/.  It purports to “strive for a safer, stronger Internet for all Americans by responding to major incidents, analyzing threats, and exchanging critical cybersecurity information with trusted partners around the world.”  In our experience, it does all that, and then some.  In fact, some insurers who offer data breach coverage mandate that insureds receive US-CERT’s email notifications.

Fourth Tuesday Tip:  Don’t run out-of-date software!

It is important to remember that many data breaches are easily preventable by taking a few basic steps.  One such step is to keep your software current, which is something we have continually advised throughout the cybersecurity crisis.

Fifth Tuesday Tip: Protect yourself by disconnecting your computer from the Internet when you aren’t using it.

This tip comes from Homeland Security itself, and there is definitely a good reason for it–i.e., by disconnecting, you provide one less entry point for spies, hackers and other malicious actors.