Total Defense

Security & Safety Resource Center

Learn about today's current internet threats and how to stay safe and secure.

Security Tip of the Day

Daily tips to create awareness of cyber threats and empower Total Defense users to be safer and more secure online.


June 2019
06.15.19

Don’t save credit card info on websites

Websites will often offer to save your card details for next time. This is convenient, but not without risk. If the site were ever breached, your card number might be stolen and used for fraudulent purchases. The alternative is to enter the number manually each time or pay with a more secure service such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, if it’s accepted.

06.14.19

Set up login alerts for your Facebook account

Is someone else trying to log in to your Facebook account? If you’re worried about this possibility, be sure to configure login alerts. You can do this on the Facebook main site or app under the Security and Login menu. Turning on alerts will ensure you receive an email or Facebook notification on a recognized device any time there’s a suspicious attempt to access your account.

06.13.19

Keep your photos safe with a multi-pronged backup strategy

Viruses and malware can compromise your devices and result in data loss. To keep your photos safe, consider using a combination of online backup and local media. For example, you might pair Google Photos with an external hard drive so that you have multiple backups in case something goes wrong with any one of them.

06.12.19

On this day in history – Early destructive Apple virus from 1988

June, 1988: The CyberAIDS and Festering HateApple ProDOS viruses spreads from underground pirate BBS systems and starts infecting mainstream networks. Festering Hate was the last iteration of the CyberAIDS series extending back to 1985 and 1986. Unlike the few Apple viruses that had come before which were essentially annoying, but did no damage, the Festering Hate series of viruses was extremely destructive, spreading to all system files it could find on the host computer (hard drive, floppy, and system memory) and then destroying everything when it could no longer find any uninfected files.

06.11.19

Take advantage of payment services like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay

Although they have limited acceptance online, these three payment services have a growing presence in physical retail. They’re safer than using your actual payment cards, since they do not supply the real card number but rather a device identifier. Anywhere that shows the logo for one of these services will usually accept all three, so tap away if you have your device configured.

06.10.19

What are file sharing services?

Cloud based files syncing and sharing services implement automated file transfers by updating files from a dedicated sharing folder on each user’s networked devices. Files placed in this directory also are usually accessible through a website and mobile app.  Making it easy to share files with other users for viewing or collaboration. Many of these services have become popular via cloud file hosting services such as OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox.

06.09.19

Log into your Google Account with two-factor authentication

Do you use Gmail? If so, it’s probably a good idea to set up two-factor authentication to ensure that even a stolen password isn’t enough for someone to break in. You can use SMS (text message) or, preferably, more secure methods like the Gmail mobile app to confirm each new login attempt.

06.08.19

Be careful of using public computers when traveling

Hotels, libraries, and cafes may sometimes provide computers that people can use. Nevertheless, travelers cannot trust that these computers are secure. They may not be running the latest operating systems or have modernized anti-virus software. Cybercriminals may have infected these devices with malicious viruses or installed malicious software.

06.07.19

Keep a VPN app installed on your phone

Virtual private networks, which may be free or paid services, are the best way to ensure a secure network connection. If you’re on the go, you will usually have pretty good protection by using cellular service on your phone, tablet or laptop, but a VPN is useful in situations where you want to fully protect your online activity. A VPN is especially useful if you must rely on someone else’s Wi-Fi connection.

06.06.19

Use a variety of strong passwords

Use different passwords for different accounts and devices. Do not choose options that allow your device to remember your passwords. Although it’s convenient to store the password, that potentially allows cybercriminals into your accounts if your device is lost or stolen.

06.05.19

Don’t use debit cards online

Debit cards can be good alternatives to credit cards because they don’t saddle you with interest-bearing debt. However, if they’re compromised, the fallout can be much worse since a stranger might have direct access to your funds while you have fewer options for recourse. Consider using a credit card with good fraud protection for online purchases.

06.04.19

Take a pass on that online quiz

Companies like BuzzFeed have turned online quizzes into a cultural phenomenon. Which “Game of Thrones” character are you? Do you remember these 90s TV shows? Before you answer either of those questions via a quiz, consider doing almost anything else – these quizzes are designed in part to harvest your data and sell it to marketers, which means more intrusive and weirdly personal ads around the web.

06.03.19

Use a mobile banking app to manage your account

This isn’t merely a convenience tip. Using an official app from your financial institution is usually the safest way to get alerts about your activity, view statements and confirm a login attempt via 2-factor authentication. Moreover, it will help you mitigate the risk of engaging with potentially risky emails claiming to be from your bank but which are actually designed to harvest your information.

06.02.19

Watch out for “Confirm Your Account” emails

Many services require account verification via email or another channel. Unfortunately, scammers have exploited this setup, most famously in a series of phishing emails claiming to be from Amazon. Carefully read every email and look for the tell-tale signs of a scam, including typos, lengthy sender email addresses and urgent calls to action.

06.01.19

Change your password within the Facebook iOS app

It’s prudent to regularly change your Facebook password, in light of how commonly targeted social media accounts are by cyberattackers, not to mention Facebook’s long history of not disclosing the full severity of data breaches upfront. In the iPhone/iPad app, you can easily change it by tapping the three-line icon in the bottom right corner then navigating to Settings & Privacy -> Privacy Shortcuts.