October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) devotes the month of October to educating about and encouraging online safety. National Cyber Security Awareness month stresses that no one organization, government or business is responsible for ensuring the security of the Internet; instead it is a role that all Internet users share.
Everyday activities intersect with the digital world: mobile banking, e-mail, social networking, online learning, e-readers, etc. Americans find themselves constantly connected to the Internet and this has led to nearly 1 in 5 people becoming the victims of online crimes. The NCSA continues to work with leading cyber security companies in order to decrease the number of cybercrimes but it is an effort all Internet users can help with.
Here are 7 tips you can easily follow to keep your digital life safe and secure:
- Keep security software current and up to date: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware and other online threats.
- Automate software updates: Turn on automatic updates to help connect and update your software to defend against known risks.
- Protect all your devices that have Internet capabilities: Not just computers, but also smartphones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices that need protection from viruses and malware.
- Make passwords long and strong: According to the NCSA, the number one password in the U.S. is “password,” not very original. In order to make a password that is secure and can protect your online identity, combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols.
- Mark sketchy emails as spam: If it looks suspicious, do not open or read the email; mark it as junk mail right away.
- Be cautious of Wi-Fi hotspots: Adjust the security settings on your device to limit the people who can access it.
- Help the authorities fight cyber-crime: Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov) and to your local law enforcement right away.
For more tips and information on how you or your organization can help boost online security visit the NCSA’s StaySafeOnline.org.