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.


July 2020
07.08.20

Disable default HTML image downloads in Gmail

Loading an HTML email from an unreliable source could expose you to malicious content. If you want to disable images from automatically loading in Gmail, click the Settings button, and in the General section, scroll down to Images. You can select “Ask before displaying external images.” If you’re on mobile, you’ll have to select your account first, then scroll down to Images.

07.07.20

Beware of smishing attempts

“Smishing” is a portmanteau of “SMS” (short message service) and “phishing,” a cybersecurity threat where malicious actors attempt to fool users into clicking links, downloading malware or handing over personal information, usually by email. Basically, smishing is phishing done via text message. Be skeptical of any unsolicited, automated text messages delivered over shortcodes that contain shortened links or pressure you into action.

07.06.20

What is the Internet of Things?

Internet of Things (IoT) or smart devices refers to any object or device that is connected to the Internet. This rapidly expanding set of “things,” which can send and receive data, includes cars, appliances, smart watches, lighting, home assistants, home security, and more. Cars, appliances, wearables, lighting, healthcare, and home security all contain sensing devices that can talk to another machine and trigger other actions. Examples include devices that direct your car to an open spot in a parking lot; mechanisms that control energy use in your home; and tools that track eating, sleeping, and exercise habits.

07.05.20

Use PINs and strong passwords on your mobile device

This is your first line of defense in the event of loss or theft. Set your phone to automatically lock after being idle and use a password manager to store all passwords. With just one master password, a computer can generate and retrieve all your other account passwords.

07.04.20

Check which devices are logged into your Google Account

If you suspect there might be an unauthorized user on your Google Account, you can check which devices are logged into it. From any Google application, click on your user icon, then select “Manage your Google Account.” Navigate to the Security menu, and find the section labeled “Your devices.” If you don’t recognize something, follow the instructions to log the session out and change your password.

07.03.20

Protect your eyes from excessive screen time

Spending a lot of time at the desk or staring at a mobile device can lead to eyestrain. Try to situate your workstation in a place that allows you to take breaks where you can look far away while also being protected from excessive glare. Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom in and out. That’s “Ctrl” (or Command for Macs) and “+” to magnify or “-” to reduce the size.

07.02.20

Cybersecurity while traveling

When you’re traveling—it is always important to practice safe online behavior and take proactive steps to secure Internet-enabled devices. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense against viruses and malware is to update to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. Sign up for automatic updates, if you can, and protect your devices with anti-virus software.

07.01.20

Set a screen timeout for your Android device

If unauthorized parties have access to your mobile device, even for a short amount of time, they could discover and exfiltrate a large amount of personal information. Never leave your Android device unattended and set up a screen timeout followed by immediate locking. You can change the timeout length under the Display menu for Settings, while screen lock options may vary by device.