Cyber Security Shopping Tips

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Being a safe and secure shopper starts with taking security precautions and thinking about the consequences of your actions online. Remember the following tips:

  • Use websites with trusted names and strong reputations. Well-established retailers usually have more robust online security.
  • Use credit cards instead of debit cards. A compromised debit card will enable access to your money, but a compromised credit card will only expose the bank’s money, and the consumer is typically not responsible for purchases they did not make. Just be sure to regularly check your statement and notify your credit card company of any suspicious charges. Whenever possible, use a payment service like PayPal.
  • Look for the “https” URL and the padlock symbol.  The “s” in “https” stands for security. It signals that the site uses encryption. https-url-padlock-symbol
  • Avoid using public WiFi for online shopping. Public WiFi is easily compromised. In public, you are better off using your cell phone network with WiFi disabled.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Don’t click on links in emails, texts, or social media posts. Links are the most popular means for cybercriminals to install malware on devices.
  • Make your password a sentence. These days, your password should be more than 15 characters long. Using a remembered sentence mixed with letters, numbers, and symbols is a good way to create a password that’s difficult to crack. Avoid using birthdays or anniversary dates.

Example: #y0uCantH@ckM3!

  • Use different passwords for different accounts. Don’t use the same password twice. If you reuse the same password, hackers need to steal it only once to access all your accounts.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication. Use strong authentication tools. Google and Apple allow two-step verification by sending a one-time PIN to your cell phone coupled with a password while logging in.
  • If possible, use a separate computer for online shopping and banking. Most viruses and malware are transmitted through casual web browsing. If possible, use one computer or device for web surfing, email, and social networking, and a different computer for online banking and shopping.

Rome Rescue Mission

NYSTEC was so very thankful to again support the Rome Rescue Mission’s Thanksgiving food drive collection. The support NYSTEC and its employees provided — donating their time and essential Thanksgiving fixings — enabled the Rome Rescue Mission to provide food baskets so that families could make their own meals at home and provided a community meal at their location. Last year, the Rome Rescue Mission fed more than 350 people at its Thanksgiving community meal and distributed more than 400 meals to the poor and homeless through the community.

Equinox Thanksgiving Community Dinner

NYSTEC was proud to be included as part of the 3,600 volunteers from across the Capital Region to help make the 47th Annual Equinox Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner possible. NYSTECers and their families volunteered their time to prep stuffing and turkey. The Annual Equinox Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner serves more than 10,000 of our lonely, homebound, or homeless neighbors.

Schenectady City Mission’s Family Life Center

NYSTEC and its employees sponsored a Thanksgiving dinner for the women and children who reside at the Schenectady City Mission’s Family Life Center. The shelter currently houses about 20 women and 10 children. Most of these women do not have families or a place to celebrate the holiday. NYSTECers and their families shopped for and delivered all the Thanksgiving fixings for a full holiday meal that would feed all of its residents to the Family Life Center. This donation enabled the residents to prepare, cook, and celebrate the holiday together.

Data Governance Recommendation for EIS

NYSTEC performed an independent assessment of the intake, storage and distribution of data among several agencies and departments for a New York healthcare agency. As a result of this assessment, NYSTEC formulated a set of recommendations to improve processes related to these data streams. These recommendations included enhanced data management as well as a governance model to improve decision making processes related to the data intake system.

The data management recommendation included the identification of a data steward to lead a cross-organizational team of analysts and subject matter experts. The team would be charged with leading systematic and ongoing data quality investigation and reporting, maintaining metadata, training and education of staff across departments in use and interpretation of the data, assisting with root cause analysis of data issues identified by users, and serving as a central resource for data users.

These Governance recommendations were aimed at ensuring that the needs of stakeholders are properly represented in decision-making on both technical and policy issues related to the data intake system. The recommendations covered both the structure of the governance body as well as processes for developing decision criteria, documenting business needs, prioritizing initiatives and tracking benefits realization.

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