National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.

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Posted by Lindsay Rogers on

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), celebrated every October, is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity and ensure that all Americans have the tools they need to be safer and more secure online.  

NCSAM 2019 highlights personal accountability and emphasizes the importance of taking constructive steps to improve safety at home and at work. The overriding theme for this year—Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.—focuses on key areas including the privacy of citizens, consumer devices and security of e-commerce. Students are encouraged to learn how to fight against the growing threat of cybersecurity by being informed and carefully managing their personal data.  

Own IT: Online Privacy 

The Internet touches almost all aspects of our daily lives. We are able to shop, bank, connect with family and friends, and handle our medical records all online. These activities require you to provide personally identifiable information (PII) such as your name, date of birth, account numbers, passwords, and location information. #BeCyberSmart when sharing personal information online to reduce the risk of becoming the victim of a cybercrime. 

Own your online information by keeping tabs on your apps. A mobile application supports most wired appliances, toys, and phones. Your mobile device could be loaded with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved—gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also jeopardizing your identity and privacy. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to remove what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Download apps only from trusted vendors and sources.   

For more information visit the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s website.

Secure IT: Strong Password 

Creating a strong password is an essential step in 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. 

Secure your online information by creating a unique password for every account. Having different passwords to different accounts helps prevent cybercriminals from accessing these accounts and protects you in the event of a breach. Find easy-to-remember ways to customize your default password for various sites such as substituting letters with numbers or symbols.  

For more information visit the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s website. 

Protect IT: Theft and Scams 

Today’s technology allows us to connect around the world, to bank and shop online, and to control our televisions, homes, and cars from our smartphones. With this added convenience comes an increased risk of identity theft and Internet scams. #BeCyberSmart on the Internet—at home, at school, at work, on mobile devices, and on the go. 

Protect your online information while you’re connected. The bottom line is that you are vulnerable every time you’re online (which may be 24/7). If your network systems are hacked for any reason, or if hackers break through an encrypted firewall, somebody might be eavesdropping on you—even in your own home on encrypted Wi-Fi. Staying protected can be simple as practicing safe web surfing wherever you are by searching for the “green lock” or padlock icon in your browser bar—this signifies a secure connection.  

For more information visit the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s website.