Happy Holidays and, BTW, Protect Your Stuff

While the news this week has largely covered the hack into the Chamber of Commerce's email system and the trial of suspected WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning, US-CERT released "Cyber Security Tip ST 11-001, Holiday Traveling with Personal Internet-Enabled Devices."

The Tip starts out:

The Internet is at our fingertips with the widespread use of Internet-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets. When traveling and shopping anytime, and especially during the holidays, consider the wireless network you are using when you complete transactions on your device.

The alert tells the public:

  • Know the risks;
  • Do not use public Wi-Fi networks;
  • Turn off Bluetooth when not in use;
  • Be cautious when charging; and
  • What to do if your accounts are compromised.

I'm guessing the usual audience checking US-CERT's site or receiving its alerts probably will not find much value in the warning but it does offer some helpful tips to those who may be less aware about cybersecurity.

The alert can be found here.

As the Homeland Security Department looks to the new year, it may want to consider how to get messages such as this one out to a wider audience in a format that is friendlier than being listed under "non-technical users." Yes, DHS has partnerships with such groups as the National Cyber Security Alliance but its cyber efforts could really benefit from a campaign similar to the "See Something, Say Something" campaign that has recruited as partners entities that are better know to the average American computer user.