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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

September 30, 2015


Cyber Security Awareness Photo

National Cyber Security Awareness Month was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October 2004. It was created as a joint effort between government and industry to make sure that every American has the resources they need to stay safe and secure online.

We live in an era where almost everything is connected through the internet. Even if you do not use the internet yourself, many services that you do use are supported with online systems. That is why it is more important than ever to ensure everyone has as much information as possible to protect themselves in the cyber world.

Tips to help keep your information safe and secure online:

  • Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone. You may want to add a mix of letters, numbers, and characters.
  • Keep improving your operating system, browser, and other critical software by installing updates.
  • Spread the word and share tips with family and friends about Internet safety.
  • Regulate the amount of personal information you post online. Especially if it is on an untrusted source.
  • Use privacy settings to avoid sharing information.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online. There are many scams on the internet. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Delete when done. Many of us download certain programs or applications for a specific reason. For example, planning a vacation or playing your favorite game. Make sure to delete those programs or applications if they are no longer of use to you.
  • Disable WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use. Some stores and other locations look for devices with WiFi or Bluetooth turned on. With that, they are able to track your movements while you are within range.
  • Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while you are connected to them. Be sure not to log into an unsecure WiFi network, especially when logging into personal information, such as bank accounts, email accounts, etc.
  • Be aware of SCAMS! Fraudulent text messages, calls, and voicemails are extremely common. Emails, mobile requests for personal data, or messages that require immediate action are almost always scams.

Although the advancement of technology makes our lives easier, it also increases the risk of fraud, theft, and abuse. Not one person or industry is safe from the dangers and risks of the internet.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month takes place each October and is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. For more information on Cyber Security Awareness, visit the websites below.