October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

In October 6, 2016

 

Did you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month? In the digital age it is so important for adults and children alike to understand how to be safe on the internet. While everyone is focused on what costumes they plan to wear for Halloween or carving pumpkins, you and your family can plan a night to talk about cyber security tips that you should all be following on a regular basis. The more you talk about it, the more you’ll know about it, and therefore the safer you will be online. Below are a few safety tips we’re passing along during this National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Easy Cyber Security Solutions and Tips:

 

  • When you are trying to keep your personal computer or business computer safe, it is important to follow a few general rules. You should never click on a link in an email when you do not know the sender, and you should never download an attachment from an unknown sender. Emails can easily contain malicious links that can download viruses and malware, steal personal information, or simply fry your hard drive. Cyber-criminals are talented in crafting emails that look like they are from a familiar sender, claim to be from a friend of a family member who is in need, or may even include some of your personal information to try to trick you into believing it is a safe email. Always double-check all information before downloading, clicking, or responding. As a general rule of thumb you should never send private and personal information such as your social security number, credit card numbers, or bank information via email.
  • Take all your passwords seriously – this means personal and business accounts. Having a strong password is one of the best ways to protect against cyber-attacks. If a hacker can’t get into your accounts, they can’t get into your information! Passwords should never be easily guessable or simple words. The strongest passwords use a mix of letters, numbers, symbols, lower and upper case, and are not a common word. An example of a strong password is “Mandar!N48!”.
  • If you are the owner of a business you know that keeping your customer’s data safe, and your own private data safe, is paramount. Small businesses are at the largest risk of a cyber-attack because cyber-criminals know that a small business often doesn’t have a large scale security system in place. You don’t need a team of hundreds of employees to keep your business safe, you can do this on your own for your business. First, be sure to have a multi-factor authentication process in place for whenever you are logging into your network. You should also never allow employees or yourself to use USB drives on your work machines. These can easily be used to steal data and or download a virus. You can disable the ability to transfer data onto a USB in order to prevent the use of these storage devices. You should also have an internet usage policy in place for all of your employees. Be clear what you expect them to do and not to do on the internet while in their place of employment. These simple steps can help your small business avoid cyber security threats.

 

Whether you are talking to your family about cyber security or educating your employees about importance of cyber security, October gives you a reason to finally sit down and talk about it. Be sure to check out Staysafeonline.org for more information on cyber security and for tips on staying safe online!

 

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