10 Tips to Stay Safe When You're at Black Hat or Everywhere Else

1 - 10 Tips to Stay Safe When You're at Black Hat or Everywhere Else
2 - Don't Do Your Online Banking on the Black Hat Network
3 - Be Wary of Wireless
4 - Don't Plug Into Ethernet Just Anywhere
5 - Patch All Your Hardware and Applications
6 - Use Encryption to Protect Sensitive Data
7 - Don't Share
8 - If You Find a USB Key Do Not Pick It Up
9 - Don't Use ATMs Around Conference Venue
10 - Protect RFID Cards
11 - What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas
1 of 11

10 Tips to Stay Safe When You're at Black Hat or Everywhere Else

The annual Black Hat USA security conference is underway this week, with training running from July 22 -25 and briefings on July 26 and 27 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The Black Hat network can be a hostile one, with some researchers testing out new and old hacking skills on unsuspecting users. While Black Hat might be a more hostile network than an average corporate network, good security hygiene and best practices apply in all types of environments. The Black Hat security conference media team has offered up some tips to prevent getting "pwned" while at the show. This slide show provides 10 tips on how to stay cyber-safe during the show and while connected anywhere in the wild.

2 of 11

Don't Do Your Online Banking on the Black Hat Network

When web browsing on the Black Hat network or other public networks in the Las Vegas area, it's a good idea not to have any expectations of privacy. Black Hat's media teams suggest that users do not open a random website or link sent or provided by an unknown or untrusted source. Doing your online banking while online during Black Hat also is not recommended.

3 of 11

Be Wary of Wireless

There are a lot of public WiFi networks at Black Hat and even more across Las Vegas. Not all of them are legitimate, as some make use of known attacks such as EvilAP to trick users into connecting. Users should be sure to only connect to networks that are known.

4 of 11

Don't Plug Into Ethernet Just Anywhere

Black Hat's media team advises that there will be no random loose jacks or cables that will be secured outside designated Black Hat areas. As such, users should not plug into unfamiliar open line, jack, or cable. There will be no random jacks or cables that can be considered secured outside designated Black Hat areas.

5 of 11

Patch All Your Hardware and Applications

As always, make sure that all the laptops, mobile phones and applications are fully patched before you get to Las Vegas.

6 of 11

Use Encryption to Protect Sensitive Data

It's always a good best practice to encrypt sensitive data to help protect against the risk of data loss.

7 of 11

Don't Share

Another good idea while working in a public environment like the Black Hat is to turn off File Sharing features in laptop operating systems. It's also a good idea to turn off Bluetooth to discourage online snoopers.

8 of 11

If You Find a USB Key Do Not Pick It Up

The Black Hat media team suggests that if presented with a USB drive/key/thumb drive, that attendees do not plug it into laptops unless absolutely sure that the contents can be trusted.

9 of 11

Don't Use ATMs Around Conference Venue

Credit card skimmers have been found on ATMs and gasoline station pumps in the Las Vegas area. As a result it's not recommended that conference goers use the ATM machines anywhere near the Black Hat conference.

10 of 11

Protect RFID Cards

At past Black Hat USA events, researchers have demonstrated how easy it can be to read information from RFID enabled cards and passports. Black Hat conference organizers suggest that attendees use an RFID shielded wallet.

11 of 11

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

Even after following the previous nine steps there are still myriad risks that could leave users exposed to future exploitation. As a best practice, the conference suggests that attendees change passwords immediately after leaving Vegas. That way any stolen passwords will stay behind in Las Vegas.

Top White Papers and Webcasts