T2021_17 Cybersecurity and Electronic Devices (20th October 2021)

Why does cybersecurity extend beyond computers?

Computers are more than just laptops and desktops they also extend to electronic devices like video games, Tablets, Cell Phones and even car navigation systems. While these electronic devices provide new features and functionality, they also introduce new risks. Attackers are now able to target these once upon a time “safe” devices thanks to technological advancements. Not only do they pose a threat to your personal data but can also threaten corporate data if stored on your device.

Any piece of electronic equipment that uses some kind of computerized component is vulnerable to software imperfections and vulnerabilities. The risks increase if the device is connected to the internet or a network that an attacker may be able to access.

How can you protect yourself?

Like laptops and desktops, there are many ways to protect your electronic devices; a few of these are:

  • Physical Security- remember that having physical access to a device makes it much easier for an attacker to extract information. Do not leave devices unattended in public areas.

  • Strong Passwords- it is better to choose devices that permits you to protect your information with passwords. Create passwords that are difficult to guess and be sure to use different passwords or different devices.

  • Update device software- Install vendor updates as soon as possible. This will prevent attackers from exploiting known vulnerabilities.

  • Encrypt data- see if your devices offer the option to encrypt data. By doing this you are sure to mitigate unauthorized access.

  • Disable remote connectivity- Some mobile devices are equipped with wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, that can be used to connect to other devices or computers. Disable these features when not in use.

• Be cautious of public Wi-Fi networks. Follow these recommendations when connecting to any public wireless hotspot like on an airplane or in an airport, hotel, or cafe:

  • Confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate.
  • Do not conduct sensitive activities, such as online shopping, banking, or sensitive work, using a public wireless network.
  • Only use sites that begin with “https://” when online shopping or banking. Using your mobile network connection is generally more secure than using a public wireless network.

Use applications from trusted vendors- Read reviews and check privacy settings before downloading apps to your electronic device.

The Guyana National CIRT recommends that users and administrators review these recommendations and implement them where necessary.
PDF Download: Cybersecurity and Electronic Devices.pdf

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