Homeland Security Hacker Protocol Can Apply to Private Communications

DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) plays a crucial role in cyber network security. With homeland security hacker protocol, the agency aims to secure cyberspace, civilian networks and other infrastructure components that are critical to Americans’ daily lives. DHS has a cybersecurity and communications center that handles protocol for communications across state, federal and local governments, as well as law enforcement and intelligence communities and private sector businesses. These preventive strategies are meant to help private and public partners take a proactive approach to cybersecurity matters.

Don’t Click on Email Links

If an email appears to be legitimate, whether it’s from a primary retailer or a third party, go to the appropriate website and log in directly. Whatever service offering or notification was included in the email will be available, if it was legitimate.

Don’t Open Attachments

In most cases, retailers will not include attachments with emails. If a user is in doubt, he or she can directly contact the retailer and ask whether they sent the email and the attachment.

Be Careful With Personal Info

Consumers should not give out their personal information in emails or during phone calls unless they are sure they’re dealing with a legitimate entity. Social engineering is the process by which individuals are tricked into offering personal info to a seemingly trustworthy agency that turns out to be malicious. If a person is called by someone claiming to be a retailer or a collection agent, they shouldn’t give out any personal information. Ask for the agent’s name and a callback number to verify the agency’s legitimacy.

Other Cyberattack Prevention Tips

  • Set extra-secure passwords and don’t share them. Avoid using common phrases or personal info, and change passwords regularly.

  • Keep computers’ OS, browser, antivirus and other software components updated. Security patches and updates are typically available free from major software vendors.

  • Verify the legitimacy of requests from individuals or companies by calling them directly. If an entity asks for personal info via email, the consumer should call the company to verify the request.

  • Pay attention to web URLs. Malicious sites sometimes use variations on common spellings, as well as different domains, to deceive unsuspecting Internet users.

  • On email programs, deactivate the option to download attachments automatically.

Beware of unknown requests or links sent in emails and text messages. Users shouldn’t click on strange links or answer questions sent to mobile devices, regardless of where those messages originated from.