Cyber Security Tips

The DHS Information Assurance Division’s Cyber Security Awareness and Outreach Team offer the following tips when visiting websites or working on a non-secure laptop or other internet accessing device:

  •  Look for an “https” in the address bar of the website you’re visiting. It may be there when you log into the website, but if it’s not there after you’ve logged in, anything you send could be easily hijacked by someone using Firesheep.
  • Sites that keep an “https” in the address bar during the entire session are using encryption and cannot be accessed with Firesheep. Banks commonly use “https” for the user’s entire online session.
  • If you are on an open and unsecured Wi-Fi or wired network, do not go to sites that require a login to access your information. Looking at sites that require no action on your part should not compromise your privacy.

 According to the article in the DHS TSA Cyber Newsletter for November 16, Firesheep is a simple tool used by computer hackers to gain unauthorized access to personal accounts on the internet.  Firesheep takes these previously complex tasks and rolls them into a user-friendly program that even an average computer user can figure out.

Forewarned is forearmed!

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