Graphical representation of real time cyber attacks on selected locations in the U.S. displayed at Air Force Institute of Technology Center for Cyber Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Cyber war at home: 7 ways to protect yourself

If you lock your car at night, can you guarantee no one will get inside?

Cyber experts say it’s the same for your personal computer and other devices.

“A really good thief who has all the tools at their disposal is going to get into your car,” said David Salisbury, a University of Dayton information systems professor. “You’re just trying to make yourself a less attractive target by putting in countermeasures.”

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Here are internet-related seven countermeasures that will make yourself a less attractive target:

• Connect to the internet over secure-password protected networks.

• Create stronger passwords with letters, symbols and numbers and change them more often. Jeff Hughes, co-founder and president of Riverside-based Tenet3 recommends creating a password manager in a protected setting — on your smart phone, for example — to keep a list of unique and individual passwords. 

• Require more authentication to log in and operate on computer systems.

• Encrypt data, including on a disk.

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• Make sure all of the software patches and updates are installed. “Any software I’m using, I’d make sure my patches are up to date and I would run a full (anti-virus) scan fairly routinely,” Salisbury said.

• If you are unsure of a sender online, always enter a URL by hand instead of following links.

• Pay close attention to the privacy settings on your social media accounts and restrict who sees information.

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