PLANO, Texas, Oct. 29 /CNW/ -- According to a CSI/FBI Computer Crime and
Security Study, cyber crimes cost the United States economy an estimated $67
billion in damages(i), which is comparable to the U.S. federal government's
estimated information technology (IT) spending for fiscal year 2008(ii).
Corporations and governments have long known an effective IT security
program requires dedicated resources - people, processes and technology.
Investing wisely in cyber security is a fundamental cost of doing business in
the relatively new wired world.
"The big business and government approach to cyber security contrasts
sharply with many small business and home computer users who can
unsuspectingly be the 'back doors' to a full-scale cyber attack," said Dave
Morrow, EDS chief security and privacy officer. "This weakness at the
grassroots level requires all users to be responsible citizens in the
collective online world with equal time and energy spent to protect these
computers. Everyone must practice safe computing habits and good personal
In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, EDS security and
privacy experts have identified EDS' eight tips to help consumers secure their
part of cyberspace:
1. Know the threat. The online world is a dangerous place. Just like any
city or town, there are "good" neighborhoods and "bad" ones. Likewise,
the Internet community has an overwhelming number of good, decent
people mixed in with a few "bad guys." The bad guys can be right next
door or across the globe, but both can be equally harmful to you and
your personal data.
2. Use the tools. Every home or small business user should install
commonly available security tools such as anti-virus software,
anti-spyware software and a personal firewall. It's also important
these programs and the computer's operating system must be maintained
with the most recent patches or updates. Probably the most common --
and most easily remedied -- security problem in home or small business
computers is out-of-date software.
3. Be smart online. Like the physical world, cyberspace has its
"con-artist side" typified by bogus e-mails advertising
"get-rich-quick" schemes, "can't-miss" stocks and come-ons from the
opposite sex who "can't wait" to chat. All too often, these are
teasers drawing users to Web sites with viruses, bot programs or other
cyber risks. In many cases, anything goes and relatively few rules
apply. Remember, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
4. Never respond to unsolicited requests for personal information. Be
wary of e-mails from organizations or individuals asking for your
personal information. Always ask or look for contact information on
unsolicited requests and be skeptical. No reputable bank, for example,
will e-mail you asking you to provide personal information for
"account verification." If you believe the content may be suspect,
contact the company directly to verify.
5. Beware of "phishing" e-mails. Phishing is one of the fastest-growing
forms of online fraud for identity thieves. Phishing e-mails appear
legitimate, often addressing you by name, which makes them even more
convincing. Thieves sending these e-mails usually ask you to click on
a link in the email that takes you to a phony Web site -- if you are
interested, it is best to go to the site yourself by typing the Web
site name directly into your browser rather than clicking on the link
provided in the e-mail. A skeptical attitude toward unsolicited e-
mails is always the best policy, especially if you have never done
business with a company before receiving an e-mail solicitation from
6. Do not use personal information for passwords. Using information such
as Social Security numbers, birth dates, names, e-mail addresses or
telephone numbers as passwords can make you an easy target. Be sure
your passwords contain at least eight characters and include numbers
or symbols. To avoid misuse, do not write down passwords.
7. Review privacy and security policies for the companies you do business
with online. All reputable companies post a privacy and security
policy or statement on their Web site. This should tell you what
information the company collects, how it is used and what is shared.
If you are concerned about your information being shared with other
companies, make sure there is an option to keep your information
8. Monitor online activity regularly. If you conduct business online,
review your account statements regularly and consider using a separate
credit card for online purchases or payments to ensure all
transactions are in order. By reviewing online statements and
transactions frequently, you could detect a theft and limit its
damage. Identity thieves typically use stolen information for only a
short period of time to avoid being caught. If you suspect a security
breach, act quickly by contacting the companies you do business with
Corporations and governments, while certainly not perfect, devote a lot
of effort to foster a safe online world -- it is simply good business and
sound government. This same thinking has to exist everywhere, with everyone.
The power of the Internet comes with a great shared responsibility of cyber
EDS (NYSE: EDS) is a leading global technology services company
delivering business solutions to its clients. EDS founded the information
technology outsourcing industry 45 years ago. Today, EDS delivers a broad
portfolio of information technology and business process outsourcing services
to clients in the manufacturing, financial services, healthcare,
communications, energy, transportation, and consumer and retail industries and
to governments around the world. Learn more at eds.com.
(i) 2005 CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey
(ii) Nick Wakerman, "Report: Fed IT spending to top $67 billion in 2008,"
Washington Technology, October 18, 2007.
Julie Basa -- EDS
972 605 1862
For further information:
For further information: Julie Basa of Electronic Data Systems
Corporation, +1-972-605-1862, firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: