October is the Month to Learn How to Protect Yourself Online
It’s October which means National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is on! This is the 17th annual event which spreads the word about cyber security awareness and education.
NCSAM is a collaborative effort between the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Public and private sector organizations like Askcybersecurity.com take part as well.
This year’s theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” The intention is to encourage internet users to understand their role in their protecting internet-connected devices and their data online.
READ: How Do I Know If My VPN is Working?
This means learning how to secure your portion of cyberspace – like your home’s internet connection. It also means learning how to protect your computers and mobile devices from malware, phasing attacks, ransomware, malicious websites and other cyber threats.
Hopefully, your home internet is secured with a router that is kept updated with the latest firmware and encryption that meets current standards. If your router is more than five years old, you may want to consider upgrading to a new model. Last year, Russian hackers had infected some 90 percent of home routers with malware.
Routers are your gateway to the internet. They also protect your home WiFi from hackers and cybercriminals.
In June, security researchers recently released a security advisory stating that many home IoT devices contained a security vulnerability that is still unmatched.
To protect your private money while shopping online from home, you should replacing your devices and keeping them patched.
How do I secure internet connected devices
- Keep all apps up-to-date with the latest security patches. Hackers often exploit out-of-date software and apps to compromise a device with malicious programs called malware
- If your laptop or phone doesn’t have security features like facial recognition or fingerprint scans consider upgrading to a newer device that supports them.
- Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication on any account that supports it. This as another level of security to protect your private information and money.
- Subscribe to a good quality antimalware and antivirus app for your phone and computers
- Never click on links or download attachments in emails from people you don’t know
- Never click on links in SMS text messages from someone you don’t know
- Use strong, unique, hard to guess passwords for every online account. If you have trouble remembering the unique password for each account use a password vault to help you create and store them.
READ: FBI Warns of Major Risks for Windows 7 Computers
The following tip sheets and resources are valuable tools for reducing cyber security risks and protecting yourself online
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Everyone can get the resources they need to stay safe and secure online. Take proactive steps to your cybersecurity awareness and protect your part of cyberspace.
Visit cisa.gov/ncsam for more information.
CISA encourages individuals and organizations to review the NCSAM 2020 page for ways to participate in and promote NCSAM.
Throughout October, CISA and NCSA will focus on the following topics:
- October 1 and 2: Official NCSAM Kick-off
- Week of October 5 (Week 1): If You Connect It, Protect It
- Week of October 12 (Week 2): Securing Devices at Home and Work
- Week of October 19 (Week 3): Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
- Week of October 26 (Week 4): The Future of Connected Devices
#BeCyberSmart during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020!