Cybersecurity Best Practices

Bryan Stow
February 12, 2024
Cybersecurity aims to protect individuals and organizations from computer viruses, costly ransomware attacks, identity theft and more. Here are some measures you can follow in the office and at home to keep yourself and the bank secure.
At Work

·        Stay updated with recent schemes - Review the Scam of the Week email notifications provided by FSB from KnowBe4. These articles have very good up to date          information on the latest SCAMs and have tips on how to avoid them.

·        Take cybersecurity seriously and complete all the trainings and assessments on time.

·        Use the KeePass password manager application tostore passwords securely.

·        Be cautious of suspicious emails and messages: Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown sources. Be wary of phishing emails and messages          that ask for your personal information – Send questionable emails to Phish Alert.

·        Follow the guidelines are documented in the computer use policy in detail.

      o Viewing and Protecting E-Mail

       o Confidential Farmers State Bank Information

At home:

·        Keep your security software up to date.

·        Use passwords on all your devices and apps. Makesure the passwords are long, strong and unique: at least 12 characters that area mix of numbers, symbols and          capital and lowercase letters.

·        Change your passwords on a regular basis.

·        Secure your home network. Start with yourrouter. Turn on encryption (WPA2 or WPA3).

·        Change the default administrator password onyour Internet Router.

·        Keep your programs and applications updated.

·        Update your privacy settings in your socialmedia accounts.

·        Stay updated with recent schemes.

·        Use antivirus and internet security software athome.

·        Be cautious of suspicious emails and messages: Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown sources. Be wary of phishing emails and messages          that ask for your personal information.

·        Use a password manager application to store passwords securely.

Here are guidelines for creating passwords.

Passwords are the keys to the environment, and much like the front door of your house. If they are too easy to access, someone will eventually take advantage of it.

To best protect the bank and our customers’ information, we all need to follow a few relatively simple guidelines.

1. Password complexity.

The first line of defense is to make your password complex. Hackers routinely use what are called Dictionary Attacks to crack passwords. They have tools that quickly check for passwords against standard dictionary words. One way to make your password complex is to incorporate upper- and lower-case text, along with numbers and special characters. This, however, can make it difficult to remember. Another method is to use a Passphrase, which is putting multiple words together with numbers and special characters into an easily remembered pattern that are difficult to hack.

2. Change your passwords regularly.

We require you to change your Windows Authentication password every 90 days. As a good habit, you should also change any other account passwords that you use at this time as well. Many sites do not require you to change your passwords at all, which should make you question how secure they are.

3. Passwords to avoid.
  • Just dictionary words
  • Repetitive or sequential characters (e.g. ‘aaaaaa’, ‘1234abcd’).
  • Context-specific words, such as the name of the service, the name     of the bank, the username, or simple variations of those
4. Unique passwords for each service.

The uniqueness of your passwords is extremely important to your security. Websites are sometimes hacked, and login credentials are stolen and resold most of the time. Hackers try to use these login credentials on other sites to access your other accounts and get hold of all your data. For those reasons, it is recommended that you use a unique password / passphrase for each account that you access.

5. Use a password manager.

One way to keep track of multiple passwords / passphrases is to use a password manager program. It is a secured place to save authentication information and links to sites or applications. IT has deployed the KeePass application to all desktops at FSB for this purpose. Please reach out to IT if you have questions on how to use this password safe.

To test passwords / passphrases and see how long it would take to hack them go to the following site and enter a few that you think would be good. The results may surprise you.

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