October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA).
The theme is “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” This message promotes personal accountability and proactive behavior in digital privacy, security best practices, and common cyber threats.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2019 addresses the following online safety messages and opportunities for habit change.
- Never click and tell: Stay safe on social media by not oversharing. Scammers and identity thieves can spy on you and collect your personal information. Then, they can impersonate you and break into your online accounts.
- Update privacy settings: On social media, do not friend anyone you do not know in real life. Also, restrict your social media posts to friends only and leave your location settings off.
- Track your apps: Use security best practices for your device applications. Choose apps from a reputable developer and download them only from the official store. Also, when creating an account, use a username/password combination, rather than logging in with a social media account. Finally, do not let the app access settings it does not need, such as the microphone, camera, and contact list.
- Shake up your passphrase protocol: Shorter passwords are easier for hackers to guess. You will need to use strong passwords with a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, do not reuse passwords across different accounts. You can store your login information in password management software.
- Double your login protection: Turning on multi-factor authentication makes it harder for attackers to breach an account in case they have your password. Use authentication methods, such as one-time passcodes, authenticator apps, biometrics, and USB keys.
- Shop safely online: Make purchases only from credible and well-known sellers. Check the website’s Better Business Bureau profile for any negative reviews. Also, in the web browser, the website should have HTTPS in the address and a green secure notification. Finally, the website should spell the vendor’s name correctly in the URL. If the spelling is off by even one character, it is a sign of a spoofing scam.
- Play hard to get with strangers: Learn how to spot and avoid phishing attempts through emails and phone calls. Scammers pretend to be someone else and trick people into sending money or revealing confidential information. They use urgency to manipulate you into making quick and careless decisions. If you get an unsolicited request of this nature, follow up with the company using the contact information on their website. Also, do not send sensitive information through email including passwords, credit card information, and social security numbers.
- If you connect, you must protect: Make sure to keep security software, web browsers, and operating systems updated to their latest versions. Software companies send out fixes to protect users from new threats or recently discovered security holes.
- Stay protected while connected: Do not connect to Wi-Fi accounts that do not require a password for entry. Also, disable the auto-connect setting on your devices. Furthermore, do not send out confidential information while on a shared Wi-Fi signal.
- If you collect it, protect it: Your business must keep customer data safe. If hackers breach your company data, they can expose customer information. Find out which data sets you can and cannot collect. This depends on state and federal laws plus any industry compliance standards. Also, do not let an employee access confidential information unless it is relevant to their job duties. Furthermore, lock physical paperwork in a secure location and shred the records when you no longer need them.
Our team wants to ensure your business stays protected. If you have any questions about your company’s cybersecurity, you can contact us by calling 877-794-3811 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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