Author Archives: Network Operations

People can figure out your password

People can figure out your password

Even if your password isn’t “123456,” “password,” “qwerty,” or “letmein”—some of the most commonly used ones out there—odds are good that other people know your password. That’s because of two reasons:

Especially when you’re busy and doing a lot online (holiday shopping, for example), the temptation is strong to take a shortcut and use the same password twice…or three times…or more.

But don’t do it. A few seconds of time savings in the moment could ultimately cost you a lot more.

Think about the most important information you’re protecting using that same password. Does your bank account, retirement account, or main email use the same password as a different site? What password do you use for your online medical chart access? Or what about your favorite online shopping site that saves your payment information for you?  If any one of these was hacked it would be huge—but if you use the same password other places, all of them could be.

Protect yourself, your money, and your privacy, by following these simple tips:

  1. Use a password safe/vault.  Remembering passwords doesn’t have to be challenge. Create unique passwords and save them all in one place. There are free password vaults and pay options you can use (e.g., KeepPassX, Password Safe, LastPass, to name a few of many)—just use one! These services make it really easy with browser extensions that save your passwords as you go.
  2. Use secure or random passphrases – ASimplePhraseIsBest.  Think of a simple, but unique sentence over 15 characters to use as your master password for your password vault. You only need to remember that phrase to access the tool and can use randomly-generated passwords for everything else.
  3. Never use the same password twice – Like we said before, just don’t do it.  You could save a few seconds, but you may lose everything if it is used somewhere else and leaked by a third party site with less security.
  4. Sign up for have I Been Pwned – Have I Been Pwned will notify you if your email address is involved in a data breach online.

Stay safe out there—and keep your passwords to yourself!

Hacking humans: dangers of social engineering

Hacking humans: dangers of social engineering

“Amateurs hack systems, professionals hack people.”  —Bruce Schneier – cryptographer, privacy specialist, and author Social engineering is a new term to describe someone who uses psychological manipulation to get someone else to divulge confidential information or perform actions (e.g., click a link in an email or open a locked door). An older name for a social… Continue Reading

Malicious emails and attacks on the rise

Malicious emails and attacks on the rise

Keep a watchful eye on your email inbox. Our internal security team has been noticing an uptick in malicious email campaigns sent to inboxes. These emails are phishing attempts. They’re designed to trick you into responding with action or information. Some might contain viruses or other malicious software, while others may steal your usernames, passwords, or… Continue Reading

BendBroadband modem not affected by Russian malware

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is asking more than 500,000 Americans to reboot their routers. This is because hackers infected consumer-level routers used in homes and small offices with malware. The incident is believed to be a Russian military-related hacking and has affected half a million routers and storage devices in 54 countries, including… Continue Reading

How to avoid online dating scams

Looking for love? In this digital age, many turn to online forums to find it. While many do find great relationships or fun dates through dating websites, others have felt the sting of costly scams. Monetary loss coupled with a broken heart? Far from a match made in heaven. It’s easy to get heart eyes… Continue Reading

Data Privacy Day: Talking with your children

Data Privacy Day: Talking with your children

Home access to computers and the internet has expanded dramatically over the last two decades. According to Child Trends, more and more children, some as young as three-years-old, are accessing the online world.  With this trend continuing for years to come, it’s important to include them in conversations about safe internet usage and data privacy. Sunday, Jan. 28 is Data Privacy Day.… Continue Reading

How Meltdown and Spectre affects you

Meltdown and Spectre are names given to two different security bugs found in June of 2017 by Google. These bugs are far-reaching and impact a wide-range of computers, mobile devices and servers across many operating systems, such as iOS, MacOS, Android, Blackberry, Linux, and Microsoft. Google has been working with various companies, including Apple, Microsoft,… Continue Reading