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Week 1 - If You Connect It Protect It

Be Cyber Smart.

CSUN continues its mission to provide information on safe technology in any way possible. In modern times technological advances have allowed appliances such as door locks, coffee machines, or smoke alarms have the option to be connected to the internet. These advances have made it easier to manage all these appliances with a click of a button. Although these innovations have made it easier to manage all appliances, it also opens a new door to security risks.

Tips for Protecting Your Devices 

  • Secure your Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi is the primary source most cybercriminals target to be able to gain access to all connected devices. Securing your Wi-Fi network lowers the chances of falling victim to cybercrime.
  • Double your login protection. One of the most common ways cybercriminals gain access to accounts is due to the lack of multi-factor authentication. To learn more about multi-factor authentication at CSUN please visit Duo Multi-Factor Authentication.
  • Keep tabs on your apps. Most connected appliances often have a corresponding application as a control. Your mobile device could be running applications that use default permissions - some of these permissions allow the app to get personal information without your knowledge. Be sure to check your app permissions to monitor your applications. Only download apps from trusted vendors 
  • Never click and tell. Limit the information you post on social media. Sharing information such as your address can be used to target you. Monitoring the information you post on social media can help prevent falling victim to a cyber attack. 

Strong Passwords 

Usually, when connecting a device to Wi-Fi or connecting it with an application you are required to enter a password. Passwords are the first layer of security provided for you. No citizen is immune to cyber risks, but #BeCyberSmart and you can minimize your chances of being involved in an incident.

Simple Tips to Secure your Passwords 

  • Use a long passphrase. Using longer passwords minimizes the chances of being compromised. 
  • Do not make your passwords easy to guess. Often people use their personal information such as pet names or their address as their passwords. This information can be easily found with a quick search on social media. Make sure to use long passwords.
  • Avoid common words in your passwords. Including other characters besides letters makes it harder for cybercriminals to access your account. For example, instead of using "A" you may be able to use an exclamation point (!). This is called Leet Speak. 
  • Get creative. Make deliberate mistakes in passwords such as using “PH” instead of “F” . This will help protect your information. 
  • Keep your passwords on the down-low. DO NOT tell anyone your passwords and be mindful when giving out personal information over the phone or in emails. Using the same password for more than one login quickly reduces the strength that password holds. 
  • Unique account, unique password. Having different passwords for different accounts prevents the chance of being cyber attacked and having ALL your accounts compromised. It is important to mix things up—find easy-to-remember ways to customize your standard password for different sites.
  • Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authentication app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring. Read the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) section below for more information.

Multi-factor Authentication

What is Multi-factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication adds a second layer of security to your online accounts. Verifying your identity using a second factor (like your phone or other mobile devices) prevents anyone but you from logging in, even if they know your password. CSUN uses Duo multi-factor authentication for any application that stores or processes Level 1 Confidential information. Please visit Duo Multi-Factor Authentication for more information.  

Return to October National Cyber-Security Awareness Month 

Follow along each week of October as we give tips to help keep your online life safe and secure. Share your appreciation for NCSAM with #BeCyberSmart and #CyberAware.

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