National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cyber security and to ensure that all American’s have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online!

This year’s message is: Own IT. Secure It. Protect IT.

They will focus on key areas including citizen privacy, consumer devices and e-commerce security.

In a world where we are constantly connected, cyber security cannot be limited to the home and office. 

Tip 1 - Stop Auto Connecting: Some devices will automatically seek and connect to available wireless networks or Bluetooth devices.  This instant connection opens the door for cyber criminals to remotely access your devices.  Disable these features so that you actively choose when to connect to a safe network.

Tip 2 - Create a Strong Password: Creating a strong password is an essential step to protecting yourself online. Using long and complex passwords is one of the easiest ways to defend yourself from cybercrime. No citizen is immune to cyber risk, but #BeCyberSmart and you can minimize your chances of an incident.  Learn more by following us on Instagram to learn the top ways to help build stronger passwords.

Tip 3 - Be Aware of Scams:

When will scammers stop? 

  • Scammers are very resourceful and creative. They will do their best to convince you to part with your data or funds until the end of time. It’s in our best interest to stay informed about the current popular scams going around. They may come in the form of an email or phone call asking you to do something, send something, say something, etc.
  • While most of these requests appear legitimate on the surface, it’s important to make sure. Is this how you would normally expect to receive this request? Some of these requests, such as those for technical support, would be made by you rather than someone else. Microsoft is not calling people offering to install updates for free. The IRS will always make initial contact with you via postal mail, never demanding payment of a tax bill over the phone or via email.

What can you do?

  • Look into another method of contact
  • Check your computer for malware
  • Check for suspicious charges to any of your accounts
  • Do not trust caller ID or email addresses
  • If you were not expecting the call, don’t answer it

Tip 4 - Mobile Phone Security:

What can your computer do that your phone can’t?  A lot of security issues and concerns we have with computers also apply to phones.  The industry is seeing more and more attacks, and even ransomware, that specifically targets mobile phones.  It’s a good idea to apply all of your security practices to your phone as well.

What can you do? Protect your phone:

  • Use strong passwords:Fingerprint readers are a convenient method as long as the password you create as a backup is strong. Face recognition and similar security features are less desirable.
  • Set a lock screen timeout: lock your device when you’re not using or let it timeout quickly
  • Encrypt your SD card: All smart phones have a built-in feature to encrypt the contents of SD card and other phone storage
  • Back up data on your device:How many phone numbers can you remember that stored in your phone?
  • Install anti-malware software: Many of these software’s allow you to track your device through GPS and if necessary, wipe the device remotely.

Just because the screen is smaller doesn’t mean you are safer.

Published Date:October 01, 2019

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