October Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month!

Logo for Securing the Human, our Cyber Security featureNational Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort to ensure everyone has the resources they need to stay safe online. NCSAM is spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

The theme for the first week of NCSAM 2018 is Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety. Cyber Security starts at home. Security lessons you learn and practice at home will help protect you at school, work and beyond. Secure your home network and personal devices and protect yourself, your family and your community by following these steps:

  • Password protect your home network with a strong passphrase; 12 characters is the minimum recommended length, but the longer the better. Hint: combine four random words as your passphrase: brown-horse-racetrack-haystack. You don’t need any capitalized/special characters or numbers in your passphrase if it’s above 22 characters in length, though adding complexity is even better: Br0wn-H0r$3-R@c3tr@ck-H@yst@ck.
  • Personal Information is like money. Value it. Protect it. Don’t share sensitive personal information on social media, hackers can use this knowledge against you during social-engineering attempts. Monitor what your children post online – teach them to value their privacy.
  • Be careful of what apps you install on your smartphone. Monitor what permissions apps need, some track your location and can access all of your photos and text messages! Delete apps you don’t use anymore.
  • Keep a clean machine! Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats. Install Anti-Virus protection on all your personal devices, including smartphones. There’s a lot of good products out there, we happen to like Malwarebytes for home/personal use.
  • Back it up! And back it up regularly! Having a recent copy of all your files, photos and important work means you can retrieve them if you fall victim to #ransomware.
  • Use the hashtag #CyberAware this month to support #Cybersecurity Awareness!
  • Use the resources listed below to learn more:

    https://staysafeonline.org/get-involved/at-home/
    https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/
    https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/managing-your-privacy/
    https://stopthinkconnect.org/tips-advice/general-tips-and-advice

ncsamposter (PDF)