Diversity Woman Magazine

FAL 2017

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/876458

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Fa l l 2 0 1 7 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 69 Mindy Char ski Y ou're not the US government or a global corporation, but that doesn't mean your com- puter and the information on it wouldn't interest cybercriminals. In fact, with so many ways to profit off you, hackers have many reasons to be in- terested. ey could hijack your machine for mischievous exploits, for instance, load malicious software that holds your content hostage for a ransom, or sell your personal information in underground markets that trade in all kinds of data, including medical records and airline points accounts. Potentially being in the crosshairs of people who are constantly finding new ways to wreak havoc and avoid detection sure doesn't feel great—but you can take defensive measures. "We want people to stay engaged and feel like they can make a difference in their security," says Kristin Judge, direc- tor of special projects and government affairs for the National Cyber Security THINKSTOCKPHOTOS Cyber Smarts DW Life > Money Matters Alliance, a nonprofit that promotes cybersecurity awareness. "ere's a lot you can do in just a little bit of time [to protect yourself]." Here are five ways to reduce your chances of becoming a victim. 1 Strengthen your password management Passwords that are easy for you to re- member could also be easy for crooks to figure out. Judge is a proponent of passphrases. ese generally include multiple words and more characters than the typical password. For instance, this sentence could be a passphrase: "I like chocolate ice cream on sundaes." She suggests boosting the pass- phrase's power by substituting some let- ters with similar symbols or numbers, such as a dollar sign for an "s" and the number three for an "e." And consider adding a letter at the end related to the account for variety, like using g for Gmail, she says. Using different passwords for vari- ous websites is important. Otherwise, a breach for one could mean a breach for all. "It goes across into the work environ- ment because a lot of folks will use the same passwords at work that they use at home," says Mari Galloway, director of fi- nance and communications at the Wom- en's Society of Cyberjutsu, a nonprofit that empowers women to succeed in the cybersecurity industry. You may find it helpful to install pass- word managers like LastPass or Dashlane that can generate and store passwords for multiple websites. 2 Use two-factor authentication for online accounts Passwords are one way to "authenticate" who you are when you want to check email or visit a website that requires a log-in, but if someone does nab your password, you're not necessarily out of luck, as you can—and should—add an- other level of security. Five ways to protect yourself from hackers

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