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Cybersecurity news you can use 

from the

Barnard College

Information Technology (BCIT) Team

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When hackers launch dangerous software 

no one has ever seen before, it's called a

Recent examples:

According to Technology Review, there have been more cases of Zero Day this year than ever before.

  • July, 2021: Some of the printer functionality in Microsoft Windows is compromised, potentially giving scammers access to the computer.

 

  • August, 2021: Google announces its popular Chrome browser can be hacked but doesn’t provide details to give users time to update the browser.

 

  • September, 2021: Researchers discover baby monitors from the manufacturer Victure allow scammers to view the camera feed.

 

  • This month: Canopy, an app that tracks kids’ internet use is exploited to give scammers info on the child’s location.

Here are easy ways to avoid Zero Day attacks.

  • Update the software on your personal computer, phone, and tablet when you see an alert on your screen.

 

  • Avoid using Internet Explorer on your personal computer.
     

  • Re-launch your web browser every week or so to ensure it's up to date. 

  • Before clicking a link or downloading an attachment in an email, be certain you know the sender. 

Click here to download and print this Guide to Protecting your devices from Zero Day attacks. 

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Sources for article and one-sheet: Avast, Crowdstrike, tripwire, Bitdefender, FireEye Mandient, MIT Technology Review, Malwarebytes, Forbes

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> More than 7 million Americans are receiving letters from the IRS, demanding tax payments because of math errors involving stimulus payments. Unlike fake IRS notices sent by scammers, this one is real. If you receive the letter and have questions, Fast Company advises calling the IRS at 800 829-1040

> If you come across an ad or email selling a download of the new James Bond movie, "No Time to Die," ignore it. Kaspersky says it's a ruse to get you to provide scammers with your credit card information. 

> There have been more than 40 billion robocalls so far this year, and the most common type is for — you guessed it — car warranties. It is statistically possible that every smartphone owner in the US has received this call at least once. Also common, says robokiller.com, are automated calls about health insurance and student loan assistance.

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"Is it advisable to write your various passwords in a notebook for reference?"

The best solution to managing passwords on your phone, personal computer, and tablet is to install password management software on each one. Then you can forget about passwords altogether. Keeping a password list is not ideal, but it's safer than re-using passwords. Obviously, take precautions. Store the information away from your electronic devices and prying eyes. 

"When I get an odd email or text, is it OK to open and read it as long as I don't click on any attachments?"

Generally, yes. As you know, don't download attachments or click on a link unless you are absolutely sure who sent the email. 

"My state sets the expiration date of my vehicle registration to my birthday, and then prints it on a sticker I must attach to my license plate. How can I safeguard my birthday if appears on my car?"

Ohio began doing this 15 years ago. Until their General Assembly changes the law, you're stuck. (The sticker doesn't show the year you were born.) But you provide a reminder: don't share your birth date or social security number unless the source is reputable, the need is pressing, and there's no other option.

Do you have a question about cybersecurity?

Thank you for your question!

Aware Force Cybersecurity News • October 2021 c • Edition #131

Cyber cartoon © 2021 Tom Fishburne, marketoonist.com

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