Rule 10: Use Common Sense – Security Awareness
What can you expect from this document:
This document overs some basic security best practices that, if combined with other security measures, will help to increase the overall security of your system.
What is the threat?
A lot of initial attack vectors that lead to damages are induced by non-technical threats. Example: A user executes a malicious attachment of an e-mail or downloads it via his browser. Therefore, it is important to raise security awareness. Always be careful, especially when handling sensitive information.
Useful hints to avoid typical security risks:
1. Only use software from validated / secure sources To protect your computer, make sure that:
- you always retrieve software from well known sources, for example the software vendor
- you validate the software, for example by signature or at least hash sum
2. Don´t use the browser on your server to surf the Internet Browsers are one of the most complex pieces of software on your system. Though vendors invest a lot of effort in securing it, there exist configuration specific attack vectors. Because of this risk, you should not use a browser on your server to surf the Internet.
3. Be aware of your privileges: If you execute malicious software by mistake, it will use your permissions. Therefore use high privileged accounts only when needed.
4. Perform administrative tasks only from secure systems Your security chain of trust can only be as strong as its weakest link, therefore avoid performing administrative tasks on your server from unsecure systems. Example: NEVER login from systems you are not aware of the state of security.
5. Granting access and permissions Only grant user access to your server on a need-to-use basis.
6. Rules to avoid phishing:
- Be suspicious of any unsolicited e-mails that urgently request personal or financial information. For example, the e-mail will claim that your account will be terminated if you fail to confirm your personal information.
- Look for misspelled words and/or grammatical errors in the message and/or hyperlink. Blatant misspelled words and/or grammatical errors are common in spoof e-mails.
- Avoid e-mailing personal and financial information. Before submitting financial or account information to a website, look for a third-party privacy seal to ensure that the transaction is secure. Also avoid volunteering private information like passwords or a personal social security number.
- Be watchful of general greetings. Many spoof e-mails begin with a general greeting rather than directly addressing the registered user by name.
- Contact the company directly. If you have any doubts about an e-mail or website, open a new browser and visit the company directly to verify the website. Don't be afraid to call the customer service.
Click here for more information on online safety.
- Security Awareness: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_awareness
- Online Safety: https://www.microsoft.com/about/philanthropies/youthspark/youthsparkhub/programs/onlinesafety/
- Avoid Phishing Scams: http://www.antiphishing.org/resources/overview/avoid-phishing-scams
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