National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October is an excellent reminder to maintain and protect your hardware and software.
Serious threats to personal data are at an all-time high. Everyone, including individuals and businesses of all sizes, needs to remain diligent in their protecting themselves from hackers and privacy breaches. Scammers of all sorts bombard us through pop-ups, viruses, e-mails, phone calls, and even the businesses we visit every day. Take steps to protect yourself.
- Create secure passwords and don’t share them.
- Avoid common words, phrases, and personal information when creating passwords.
- Keep your anti-virus, software, and operating system up to date.
- These updates keep your computer as current as possible with the latest viruses and patches to protect your computer.
- Never give personal information over the phone or in e-mail. Scammers love to call and claim to be someone they are not. Verify their authenticity by contacting the company directly.
- Don’t click on links in e-mails. Links are an excellent way to get a virus. The same goes for pop-ups.
- Turn on the pop-up blocker on your anti-virus. If you still receive a pop-up, do not click on it.
- Never visit unfamiliar websites and beware of look-a-like links. These links will have a similar spelling or will end in .net versus .com will be an infected link attacking your computer.
- Laptop owners should install software to ensure the laptop can be tracked if stolen or remotely accessed to erase files or transfer files securely.
- When using social networks, use the privacy settings to protect your personal information.
- As with e-mail, clicking unknown links within social networks places your devices at risk. This includes strange friend requests, messages, and even innocent-looking videos.
Small business owners are especially vulnerable. Hackers increasingly target main street and with often limited resources, tighter budgets and a smaller workforce, these employers require a different approach to cybersecurity.
Small Businesses can visit www.sba.gov for tips for tools and resources to help reduce cyber-incidents.
A password tip from ClearPath IT Solutions:
There has been a lot of discussions recently about what makes for the most secure password. You might be surprised to hear that simple tends to be safer than complex. You’re more likely to forget a long, complicated password, and therefore more likely to write it down. Having to meet specific password requirements, or frequently change login information has the same problem.
The solution? Choose something easy to remember that is unique to you, but not something obvious like a pet’s name or a favorite sports team. And you should never use the same password for multiple applications or websites.
NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH HISTORY
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month was first observed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance in 2003.
- Cyber Security Day
- Data Privacy Day
- Free and Open Source Software Month
- Safer Internet Day
- Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day
- National WebMistress Day
- National Techies Day
- Day of the Programmer
- National Clean Out Your Computer Day
- Computer Security Day
- National Flash Drive Day
- World Password Day
- National IT Professionals Day
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCybersecurityAwarenessMonth
Change your passwords, get virus protection, watch your emails, pay attention to the sites you visit, etc. Use #CyberSecurityAwarenessMonth to post on social media.