Internet Safety Tips for Seniors and Scams to Watch Out for

According to a Pew Research Center survey, about 66% of Americans over the age of 65 are online.  They are keeping up to date with the latest news stories, staying in touch with family, getting medical information, managing appointments, renewing prescriptions, and accessing medical records.  In addition, seniors are using the Internet as a way to stay in the workforce and even launch a new career or business as well as a way to make new friends and to find romantic partners through online dating.

All of these attributes are great, but there are always dangers to be aware of from malicious individuals and fraudsters.  They use the Internet to scam unsuspecting users.  A rule of thumb is if an offer, email, or message sound too good to be true or just seems suspicious, it probably is.

In conjunction with the normal found here, seniors should be aware of:

  1. Personal emergency scam: Scammers email or post social media messages that appear to be from someone you know saying they are in distress, such as having their wallet stolen or having been arrested. If you get such a message, find another way to verify if it’s true, such as reaching out directly to the person. If you get such a message from a friend, there is a good chance that their account was hacked and that it’s a criminal who is out to steal your money.
  2. You owe money scam: Be wary of emails that claim you owe money. If you hear from a bill collector or a government agency about money “owed” by you or a family member, don’t respond unless you are certain it’s legitimate. It’s pretty common for scammers to send “bills” to people who don’t actually owe them money.
  3. Online dating scam: Many people have found love via dating websites, but others have been scammed out of money by online con artists. For tips on safe online dating and a list of red flags, see “Meeting new friends and romantic partners.”
  4. Infected computer scam: You might get a call from “Microsoft,” saying your computer is infected or vulnerable to hacking, with an offer to fix it for you. Hang up. Microsoft and other reputable companies never make these calls. These are criminals trying to steal your money and plant viruses on your machine. Also be suspicious of any messages in email or that pop-up on your computer, in your Web browser, or on a mobile app warning you of a virus or a security risk. If you have reason to suspect that your device is at risk, consult a trusted expert but never download software or apps that you aren’t certain to come from legitimate sources.

The bottom line is to speak out and don’t be ashamed if you do get scammed and become a victim of fraudulent activities.  Criminals are very good at what they do and there have been lots of very smart people who have been victimized online. If it happens to you, report it to a trusted person and, if appropriate, law enforcement. Even if you let your guard down, it’s not your fault if something bad happened to you.

5 Teen Internet Safety Tips

How could our teens live without their smartphones, laptops, and other devices that allow them to go online, communicate and have fun with their friends in a safe manner?  We have provided five (5) tips they should remember.

1.     Keep Your Online Identity Private

We all understand on the Internet, you really never know who is at the other end.  Therefore, a good rule is to not tell anyone your real name and address or schedule such as practice locations and etc.

2.     Your Password Belongs to You … And Only You

Don’t ever give your password to anyone (except your parents). It’s just that simple because someone can post information that gets you expelled from school, in trouble with your parents,

3.     What You Post Can Live Forever

Watch what you post about yourself or others and watch what your friends post about you because you may have to live with it for a long, long time.

4.     Be a Good Digital Citizen

Watch what you write and post while online somebody is or will be reading what you write. Also, illegally downloading music or movies and making online threats are just as illegal on the Internet as they are in the real world. You cannot hide behind a screen name and get away with it.

5.     Be Careful and Smart about Meeting Someone in Person

The FBI presents a strict warning: “Never meet anyone in person that you meet online.” That said, many teens do make good friends online. You just have to be careful and smart as well as make sure other people you know, and trust also know this “new” online person.

Update Greenbone Vulnerability Management Plugins on Kali (NVT, Cert Data & SCAP Data) Automatically

Once you have installed or configured the Greenbone Vulnerability Management system it is a good idea to ensure it is kept up to date and running the latest security scripts to find the latest vulnerabilities as well as sync to the most updated nvt, scap and cert data.  The best way to do this is to create a script that sync’s the necessary data for you automatically each day.

Create a script under /usr/local/bin called update-gvm

  • vi /usr/local/bin/update-gvm

add the following contents to the file

  • sudo runuser -u _gvm — greenbone-nvt-sync
  • sudo runuser -u _gvm — greenbone-scapdata-sync
  • sudo runuser -u _gvm — greenbone-certdata-sync

save the file and make it executable

  • chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/update-gvm

run the script to make sure it works and that there are no errors

  • /usr/local/bin/update-gvm

add the script to cron to run daily

  • crontab -e

add the following contents

  • 1 1 * * * /usr/local/bin/update-gvm 1>/dev/null 2>/dev/null

the above cronjob will be run at 1-minute past 1 every day

SA.3.169 Community-based Threat Sharing (CMMC Level 3)

Receive and respond to cyber threat intelligence from information sharing forums and sources and communicate to stakeholders.

Source Discussion

Establish relationships with external organizations to gather cyber threat intelligence. Periodically review the sources of intelligence to ensure they are up-to-date and relevant [a]. Cyber threat intelligence from external sources should inform situational awareness activities within the organization. Relevant external threat intelligence is reviewed and communicated to stakeholders within the organization for appropriate action if needed [c].

To enhance situational awareness activities, leverage external sources for cybersecurity threat intelligence. Establish a relationship with external organizations, or periodically survey relevant sources, to ensure you are receiving up-to-date threat intelligence information pertinent to your organization.

CMMC Clarification

To enhance situational awareness activities within the organization, leverage external sources for cybersecurity threat information. Establish a relationship with external organizations, or periodically survey relevant sources, to ensure you are receiving up-to-date threat intelligence information pertinent to your organization. Examples of sources include US-CERT, various critical infrastructure sector ISACs, ICS-CERT, industry associations, vendors, and federal briefings.

Threat information is reviewed and, if applicable to your organization, communicated to the appropriate stakeholders for action.


Cyber threat intelligence may include:

  • attacker methodologies, tools, and tactics;
  • indicators of specific malware;
  • details of specific attacks; and
  • high-level information on changing threats [a]. Examples of cyber threat intelligence sources include:
  • Department of Homeland Security (ICS-CERT, US-CERT);
  • Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs);
  • DoD Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Collaborative Information Sharing Environment (DCISE);
  • vendors’ notifications;
  • industry groups (e.g., Internet Storm Center, Nextgov, ThreatWatch); and
  • law enforcement (e.g., FBI, InfraGard, IC3) [a].

Examples of procedures the organization may implement to effectively receive, respond to, and communicate cyber threat intelligence may include:

  • source identification,
  • monitoring frequency,
  • threat identification,
  • threat validation and analysis,
  • threat communication,
  • procedures for the identification of stakeholders,
  • stakeholder communication requirements, and
  • tools and techniques for communication [b,c].

An organization may respond to threat intelligence with actions like updating firewall rules, issuing advisories to users, or providing new indicators of compromise to incident response personnel.

This practice, SA.3.169, which ensures receiving and responding to cyber threat intelligence, is a baseline practice for the following practices: IR.2.096, RM.2.141, and RM.3.144. These practices benefit from the use of cyber threat intelligence.


You are in charge of IT operations for your company. Part of your role is to ensure you are aware of up-to-date cyber threat intelligence information so you can properly perform risk assessments and vulnerability analyses. To do this, you join a defense sector ISAC, and sign- up for alerts from US-CERT. You use information you receive from these external entities to update your threat profiles, vulnerability scans, and risk assessments. Also, you use these sources to gather best practices for informing your employees of potential threats and disseminate the information throughout your organization to the appropriate stakeholders.


NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4 PM-16

IR.2.092 Incident Preparation (CMMC Level 2)

Establish an operational incident-handling capability for organizational systems that includes preparation, detection, analysis, containment, recovery, and user response activities.

Source Discussion

Organizations recognize that incident handling capability is dependent on the capabilities of organizational systems and the mission/business processes being supported by those systems. Organizations consider incident handling as part of the definition, design, and development of mission/business processes and systems. Incident-related information can be obtained from a variety of sources including audit monitoring, network monitoring, physical access monitoring, user and administrator reports, and reported supply chain events. Effective incident handling capability includes coordination among many organizational entities including mission/business owners, system owners, authorizing officials, human resources offices, physical and personnel security offices, legal departments, operations personnel, procurement offices, and the risk executive.

As part of user response activities, incident response training is provided by organizations and is linked directly to the assigned roles and responsibilities of organizational personnel to ensure that the appropriate content and level of detail is included in such training. For example, regular users may only need to know who to call or how to recognize an incident on the system; system administrators may require additional training on how to handle or remediate incidents; and incident responders may receive more specific training on forensics, reporting, system recovery, and restoration. Incident response training includes user training in the identification/reporting of suspicious activities from external and internal sources. User response activities also include incident response assistance which may consist of help desk support, assistance groups, and access to forensics services or consumer redress services, when required.

NIST SP 800-61 provides guidance on incident handling. SP 800-86 and SP 800-101 provide guidance on integrating forensic techniques into incident response. SP 800-161 provides guidance on supply chain risk management.

CMMC Clarification

Incident handling should include activities that prepare your organization to respond to incidents. These activities may include the following:

  • identify people inside and outside your organization you may need to contact during an incident;
  • establish a way to report incidents, such as an email address or a phone number;
  • establish a system for tracking incidents; and
  • determine a place and a way to store evidence of an incident.

You may need software and hardware to analyze incidents when they occur. You should also consider incident prevention activities as part of your incident-handling capability. The incident handling team provides input for such things as risk assessments and training.

Your organization should detect incidents in different ways. Use indicators to detect incidents. Indicators are things that don’t look like what you expect. Examples include:

  • alerts from your sensors or antivirus software;
  • a filename that looks unusual; and
  • a log entry that raises concern.

After you detect an incident, you should analyze it to decide what to do. To analyze an incident, you need to know what should be occurring on your network and what should not. This will help you determine when an incident may have occurred. It may also help you decide what to do about it. You should also document what you know about the incident. Include all the log entries associated with the incident in your documentation.

Containment of the incident is important. This stops the damage the incident is causing to your network. You should base the containment activities you do on your incident analysis. These activities can include:

  • disconnecting a system from the internet; and
  • changing firewall settings to stop an attack.

Recovery activities are things to fix that caused the incident. This will help prevent the incident from happening again. Recovery activities also include things that fix the affected systems, including:

  • restoring backup data; and
  • reinstalling software. User response activities include:
  • performing a lessons-learned analysis;
  • deciding if you should contact the police; and
  • updating any policy or plans as a result of after incident analysis.

Incident handling capabilities prepare your organization to respond to incidents and may:

  • identify people inside and outside your organization you may need to contact during an incident;
  • establish a way to report incidents, such as an email address or a phone number;
  • establish a system for tracking incidents; and
  • determine a place and a way to store evidence of an incident [b].

This practice may be thought of as an umbrella practice supported by IR.2.093, IR.2.094, and IR.2.096. Further detail on these objectives are provided in the practices on detection and reporting of events (IR.2.093), the analysis and correlation of events that result in a

declaration that an event is actually an incident (IR.2.094), and responding to declared incidents with predefined procedures (IR.2.096).

Software and hardware may be required to analyze incidents when they occur. Incident prevention activities are also part of an incident-handling capability. The incident-handling team provides input for such things as risk assessments and training.

Contractors detect incidents using different indicators. Indicators may include:

  • alerts from sensors or antivirus software,
  • a filename that looks unusual, and
  • log entries that raise concern.

After detecting an incident, an incident response team performs analysis [c,d]. This requires some knowledge of normal network operations. The incident should be documented including all the log entries associated with the incident.

Containment of the incident is a critical step to stop the damage the incident is causing to your network. Containment activities should be based on previously defined organizational priorities and assessment of risk.

Recovery activities restore systems to pre-incident functionality and address its underlying causes. Organizations should use recovery activities as a means of improving their overall resilience to future attacks.


Example 1

Your manager asks you to set up your organization’s incident response capability. First, you create an email address to collect information on possible incidents. Next, you draft a contact list of all the people in the organization who need to know when an incident occurs. Then, you write down a procedure for how to submit incidents. This includes what everyone should do when a potential incident is detected or reported. The procedure also explains how to track incidents, from initial creation to closure.

Example 2

You receive an email alert about a possible incident. An employee identified a suspicious email message as a phishing attempt. First, you document the incident in your incident tracking system. Then, you immediately reference your defined procedures for handling incidents. For example, you send an email to your employees alerting them not to open a similar email. You also start collecting information around the reported incident.

Example 3

In response to the suspicious email, you perform a set of actions. You reinstall the software on the machine of the user involved. This means that the individual no longer has an infected machine. You update your phishing protection software. This ensures that it can block the latest phishing attacks. You update your training material to emphasize the threat of phishing emails.


NIST SP 800-171 Rev 1 3.6.1
NIST CSF v1.1. RS.RP-1
NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4 IR-2, IR-4

SI.1.210 System Integrity/Patching (CMMC Level 1)

Identify, report, and correct information and information system flaws in a timely manner.

Source Discussion

Organizations identify systems that are affected by announced software and firmware flaws including potential vulnerabilities resulting from those flaws and report this information to designated personnel with information security responsibilities. Security-relevant updates include patches, service packs, hotfixes, and anti-virus signatures. Organizations address flaws discovered during security assessments, continuous monitoring, incident response activities, and system error handling. Organizations can take advantage of available resources such as the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) database or Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database in remediating flaws discovered in organizational systems.

Organization-defined time periods for updating security-relevant software and firmware may vary based on a variety of factors including the criticality of the update (i.e., the severity of the vulnerability related to the discovered flaw). Some types of flaw remediation may require more testing than other types of remediation. NIST SP 800-40 provides guidance on patch management technologies.

CMMC Clarification

All software and firmware have potential flaws. Many vendors work to reduce those flaws by releasing vulnerability information and updates to their software and firmware. Organizations should have a process to review relevant vendor newsletters with updates about common problems or weaknesses. After reviewing the information the organization should execute a process called patch management that allows for systems to be updated without adversely affecting the organization. Organizations should also purchase support from their vendors to ensure timely access to updates.


All software and firmware have potential flaws. Many vendors work to remedy those flaws by releasing vulnerability information and updates to their software and firmware. Contractors must have a process to review relevant vendor notifications and updates about problems or weaknesses [a]. After reviewing the information, the contractor must implement a patch management process that allows for software and firmware flaws to be fixed without adversely affecting the system functionality [e,f]. Contractors must define the time frames within which flaws are identified, reported, and corrected for all systems. Contractors should consider purchasing support from their vendors to ensure timely access to updates [a].


You have many responsibilities at your company, including IT. You know that malware, ransomware, and viruses can be big problems for companies. You make sure to enable all security updates for your software, including the operating system and applications, and purchase the maintenance packages for new hardware and operating systems.


FAR Clause 52.204-21 b.1.xii

NIST SP 800-171 Rev 1 3.14.1

NIST CSF v1.1 RS.CO-2, RS.MI-3


NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4 SI-2

UK NCSC Cyber Essentials

AU ACSC Essential Eight