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Posting on social media
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04-25-2022, 02:44 AM
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2FA, Steamguard and backu...
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Phishing - a common way o...
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Passwords and how to prot...
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List of confirmed scams a...
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Discord and Steam Scams
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  What to do if you suspect your account is compromised
Posted by: Reddington - 04-21-2021, 08:34 AM - Forum: Tips - No Replies

Knowing if your account is compromised is as simple as checking the activity log on your account. Often times you will find actions that you never made, such as a changed email address, changed password, a post was made, unusual log in, etc.  Sometimes a cracker (person who gained access to your account) will wait for an opportune time to use your account.  Take Steam for an example.  If someone has gained access to your account, you might see direct messages being sent to your friends that contain links.  These are phishing links and once clicked, your friend's account has joined the train of being compromised.

If you think your account is compromised for any reason what so ever, change your password and if the website offers it, use the "sign out of all devices" option.  In some of cases, your email address is the gateway these crackers use to gain access.  If they are in your email, they essentially have access to every one of your accounts.  All they have to do is request password reminders.  This is why it is crucial that your email address have a unique, hard to guess password and remain private!  Do not tell people your email or post it anywhere that people can see.

When you choose to join a website, forum, etc all of the staff team will have access to your email. There are exceptions to this where only the admins/owners can see, but from my experience, most of the time it is all staff. Sometimes situations can happen where a staff member abuses their powers and uses your email for whatever. Personally, I have never had a problem with this, but it is always a possibility. If you are super protective of your accounts, you can make a throwaway email to use on these sites.

You don't have to watch your accounts like a hawk, but I'd recommend to once a day or every other day check your activity history and/or verify there's nothing going on.  It doesn't hurt to be vigilant.

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  Quick tips for staying safe online
Posted by: Reddington - 04-21-2021, 07:30 AM - Forum: Tips - No Replies

The other threads will be more in depth with information, this will serve as a quick guide for those who don't wish to read through the threads.


Tips to protect yourself online:

1. Have different passwords for each of your accounts. (You may keep a text document with your passwords on your desktop or on your PC)

2. Do not use basic, easy to guess passwords such as: password, password123, your name, birthdate, etc.

3. Keep your email address private.

4. If necessary, have two emails.  A public one you share, and a private one for your account management. 

5. Do not share your account with or let anyone use your account - this includes siblings or loved ones.

6. Do not click links or download things unless you are 100% sure it is safe and trusted.

As a final note relating to #6, these days, email inboxes are your worst nightmare.  You will get hundreds of spam and malicious emails every week.  If you get an email from someone you don't know and there is a link to click, you should check the sender's name and email to see if it's legit.  I apply for jobs, so I have to check my email, as some employers may email me to ask if they can call, I can call them, etc.

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  Email addresses
Posted by: Reddington - 03-26-2021, 12:57 AM - Forum: Tips - No Replies

Emails are incredibly important, as they are usually your last line of defense in protecting your account and getting it back.  At the same time, however, they are also the first and most obvious target.  If a cracker has gained access to your website/forum/etc account, you can change the password.  On some sites, once your password is changed, it logs out everyone who is logged in, while on other sites you have to manually select that option.  Additionally, some sites may have a "sign me out of all devices" option.

If the cracker has access to your email, and you can't act in time, you are in deep trouble, with a high plausibility of losing access to the account.  It is very important that you keep the email you used to register private.  You could even go so far as to have an account email and a public one that you give people, if you need to.    Your email controls everything.  If you lose your password, that is what you use to get access.  Without the email, it'll be impossible for the website to verify you are who you say you are if you do reach out to them.

I will cover more about this in the passwords topic, but your email password needs to

  • Be different from your website password.
  • Be complex.
One of the biggest ways crackers gain access to accounts is via password guessing. This works most of the time due to the fact that people either use the same password everywhere or they use weak, easy to guess passwords.

There's no reason for non staff of a website to know what your email is.  I strongly advise to never give your email out to people unless absolutely necessary or you trust them.

Additionally, if you're like me, you can use multiple emails. I have a personal email and 3 alts. One for job hunting emails and two for alternative stuff. I know this isn't ideal for most people, though. It's tedious as all hell to try and keep track of which email is which and what password is for which email.

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  About Us
Posted by: Reddington - 03-23-2021, 08:02 AM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

IST was created with the goal in mind of helping to spread safety awareness when using the internet.  We will be covering various different aspects of online security and my hope is that by the time you're done here, you'll leave with knowledge that can help you down the road!

I am by no means an expert.  Everything I provide will be a mix of my personal experience and things I've encountered while doing tech support.   If you have a suggestion, you can leave it here.

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  Usernames/display name - What you should and shouldn't use
Posted by: Reddington - 03-23-2021, 07:54 AM - Forum: Tips - No Replies

Username requirements for websites/apps/etc is very common.  Most people think little of their username and just choose whatever.  For the most part, your username doesn't matter and cannot pose any harm.  However, those who have never used a computer before or are casual computer users will often make their username something they will be able to remember.  Even if they write down the username, they will still make it something obvious.

The most common username combinations that they use are as followed:

  • Mixed variation of their real name, which includes birthday. Such as John Smith, born 1991.  jsmith91, johns, smith91, etc.
  • Family member's name, birthdate or something that is meaningful in relation.
You never want to use personal information as your username!  Not only does it violate your privacy, but if someone is crafty enough - which, it's the internet, people are - they can look you up and find anything that you have online.  Not to mention, if your username is that easy, your password is most likely the same. Even if you have never used the internet before, there is something in relation to you, personal or not.

On some sites, they have a username and display name. The username is what you'll log into the site with, while your display name is what will be displayed to other users.

Example

Login Name: sabafan

Display Name: Sabaton fan

In cases where a site has a login and display name, I still recommend that your login name not be anything personal.

As per name suggestions, use something you like. For me, I love Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist, so it was a no brainer that this is my name. Do you like music? Name yourself after a favorite band, or video game character, etc.

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