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National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cybersecurity has remained front page news for much of 2017. From global hacks to state-sponsored threats to the influx of concerns around connected cities, homes and devices, cybersecurity and digital privacy is now an issue for everyone and every business.

National Cyber Security Awareness’s (NCSAM) annual overarching theme is “Our Shared Responsibility.” Because no individual, business or government entity is solely responsible for securing the internet, and everyone must play a role in protecting their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use.

Underpinning NCSAM is STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety education and awareness campaign co-founded by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), and supported by DHS’ federal engagement.

 STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ encourages all internet users – whether young people surfing the web, consumers shopping online or businesses conducting transactions – to take safety and security precautions when connected. Its message is simple:

  • STOP: make sure security measures are in place.
  • THINK: about the consequences of your actions and behaviors online.
  • CONNECT: and enjoy the internet.

The campaign also shares basic, actionable steps internet users should take, such as keeping a clean machine, owning your online presence and protecting your personal information.

Each week in October we will provide information on a timely topic of importance to the universities – bringing attention to critical cyber security issues, such as phishing, ransomware, how to be cyber secure in a mobile world and how to protect yourself in the cyber environment.

A Few CyberAware Tips:

Lock down your login

Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Strengthen online accounts and use strong authentication tools – like biometrics, security keys or a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device – whenever offered.

Keep a clean machine

Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including personal computers, smartphones and tablets – current to reduce risk of infection from ransomware and malware.

When in doubt, throw it out

Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to compromise your information. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or, if appropriate, mark it as junk.

Back it up

Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely. If you have a copy of your data and your device falls victim to ransomware or other cyber threats, you will be able to restore the data from a backup.

Own your online presence

Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It is OK to limit how and with whom you share information.

Share with care

Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it might affect you or others.

Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it.

Information about you, such as purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it is collected by apps, websites and all connected devices.

Posted in InfoSec News

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