Happy New Year everyone!

 

So, did everyone remember to add using good safety and security practices to their list of New Year’s resolutions?

 

NO??? Okay, I guess that’s just a me thing then…

 

Last year I covered safety topics such as phishing emails, women’s purse safety, and children safety to name a few. While I plan on continuing my coverage of those very important topics in the New Year, I also plan on tackling topics like ransomeware, cell phone security, vehicle safety, and RV security.

 

Here are a few safety and security tips to add to your New Year’s resolution list that should be easy to keep that will help you be safer and more secure in the New Year. Some are tips from topics I have already covered and some will be new tips from topics that I will be covering in the coming year.

 

Keep your vehicle locked all the time.

  • Even if you don’t keep valuables in your car that could be stolen, leaving your vehicle unlocked will make it very easy for a thief to steal it.

  • Keep it locked even in your garage, your unlocked car will be easy pickings for anything of value you have in there if your garage gets broken into.

Wipe your cell phone screen clean – and do it often.

  • Your fingers can leave prints on the screen making it easier for anyone to guess your pass code.

Consider buying a purse with a long shoulder strap and a zipper.

  • With a long shoulder strap you can loop it over your head and across your body making it less likely to slip off your arm and fall dumping the contents all over the place. This makes it easier for someone to come and grab your stuff.

  • A long shoulder strap looped across your body also makes it harder for someone to snatch it off your arm or shoulder.

  • Having a purse with a zipper that is kept zipped closed will make it harder for a pick pocket to get into it and steal your valuables.

When heading out to a large venue, such as an amusement park, museum, or other family friendly attractions, take a picture of all the children in the group as soon as you get there.

  • This will provide you with a digital description of the little ones in case they wander off on their own solo adventure. It is a very stressful time when you have become separated from your child – having a photo that was just taken will help you provide the staff where you are at with an accurate description. When stressed out like that, it is often hard to remember the little details like what the picture or saying is on your child’s shirt.

    • Saying your 5 year old son has on a blue shirt is good – but you may have just described ten other boys in his age range.

    • Showing the staff that is there to help you find your son a picture that shows the blue shirt has a dinosaur and the saying “I’m Dino-mite” is even better. You have just narrowed down the field of 5 year old boys.

Know who sent you an email – especially with an attachment – before you open it.

  • Unexpected or unsolicited emails that come with an attachment should be opened with extreme caution. If you know the person who sent it, send them a message or call them to ask them if they did indeed send you the email.

    • Attachments that have .exe formats should raise a red flag. An .exe format is a computer command to execute a program automatically in your system. Other command formats such as .bat, .com, and .msi can contain malicious programs which can infect your computer, open with caution.

    • Attachments with macro programming codes should be opened only if you know the sender and are expecting the attachment. Macros are codes that are designed to execute tasks that are complex or repetitive. They sometimes are embedded in .doc and xls files. They will come as .docm and/or .xlsm.

Be very cautious of emails requesting personal information. You should NEVER give out personal information, log in information, or credit card information unless you are completely and totally sure that you can trust that the email is legitimate.

  • Even if the email comes from your banking or credit institution, call them and ask them if they sent the request. Phishing scammers use well known banks and credit card companies as the hook to get your information.

  • Phishing scams can also come from government departments such as the IRS. Again call and find out if the email is legitimate before you send any information.

I could go on and on, but then I wouldn’t have much else to write about in future blog posts!

Resolve to remain safe and secure in the new year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *