Precaution measures

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Distance working and learning requires constantly logging into places and inserting passwords. This might create a temptation to use one and the same (and as simple as possible) password everywhere. It would be used to enter work, school, store, social media, chat rooms and gaming sites. But if this one password should leak (and passwords do leak from time to time!) the hackers will see whether the already leaked passwords and usernames can be used to enter other places as well.

One possibility to use different passwords in different places in a way that you do not need to remember the long passwords yourself is to see what options are being offered by password managers. There are several, they can be used for free (e.g. LastPass, Keepass, 1Password) and in this way you only need to remember one long password for your password manager.

But as work done at home, e-mail addresses and all kinds of accounts are currently vitally important for work, study and communication, an important assistant for securing your accounts is multi-factor authentication. This means that even if somebody does get hold of your password (with phishing, malware or previously leaked passwords), they still can't access your e-mail account without a code that is in your phone. No, you do not need to enter the code every time you want to log into Gmail. But if someone tries to get access to your e-mail account from a geographically distant location, they will not be successful.

Last updated: 17.04.2020 19:28

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Make sure that both your and your child's computer or device has the latest possible software. This is vitally important! If the software is expired, your computer might get infected by just visiting a suspicious web page.

If you know how to find the settings of your smart television, your router and your Internet-connected web camera, you should update their software regularly as well. All this so that the devices in your home could not be used to attack anyone else. Just as you don't want to be the one who transmits the virus.

Additionally, it is important to check whether the anti-virus software of your devices has been able to regularly update itself. Anti-virus never protects you from all the threats -- malware creators are always a step ahead of anti-virus programmes. But if a malware has already circled the globe several times, the anti-virus programmes will also recognize them and stop them before they manage to infect your computer or the computers of those close to you.

Definitely find out whether the people close to you have the latest versions of operations systems and anti-virus software in their computers. In the Windows operation systems, for instance, this means updating the Windows Defender definitions.

Last updated: 17.04.2020 19:31

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Show regular interest in what your child is doing on the computer. It is more comfortable to do this if the screen of the child's computer is placed so that it can be read easily when passing by. Be interested, communicate, ask. Try to find time for this even when you are distance working yourself.

Last updated: 17.04.2020 21:22

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On April 8, the internationally recognized collection of cybersecurity measures "CIS 20 Controls" was made available in Estonian by the Information System Authority. This is a tool that was developed by recognized cybersecurity experts and can be used by IT managers and all others who are responsible for the field of IT in their company, in order to ensure cybersecurity in their company. The latest version of the CIS 20 measures also differentiates between measures that are meant to be implemented by large, but also small and medium sized companies. The Estonian version of the collection of measures and relevant short instructions and instructional videos in Estonian and Russian can be found at https://www.ria.ee/et/kuberturvalisus/ennetus-ja-nouanded/nouanded.html.

Even though it might not be possible for you to implement these measures before the end of the current emergency situation, it is still worth doing it consistently in medium and longer term perspective. This way you will safely survive both possible future single cyberattacks and future emergency situations.

Additionally, see https://www.itl.ee/uudised/itl-soovitab-ettevotetel-kaugtoo-korraldus-labi-moelda/. In its original language – English – the measures can be found here: https://www.cisecurity.org/controls/cis-controls-list/.

Last updated: 17.04.2020 21:23

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After the crisis is over, everybody should keep continuously following the requirements of cyber hygiene. Both authorities and companies should remember the fact that the IT field has long ago stopped being a small fraction of the company that has only a supportive role, rather becoming sometimes the most critical part, as all work is being done in computers and the information necessary for the company or authority to function is stored in servers or on hard drives.

Last updated: 05.06.2020 12:49

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  • Don't open attachments or links from unknown senders.
  • Don't believe threatening letters from unknown senders that demand that you act quickly.
  • Don't give an unknown caller access to your computer.
  • Make sure that you are using the latest version of software and that all security updates have been installed.
  • Regularly back up the files in your computer and on your phone.

Also see the newest entries at https://blog.ria.ee/.

Last updated: 17.04.2020 21:25

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More information about the coronavirus and restrictions related to it is available calling 1247 (from abroad +372 600 1247).