Every October, the National Cybersecurity Alliance recognizes National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This month has different themes every week for various aspects of cybersecurity. The themes for this month are:
- Week 1 (October 5-9): If You Connect It, Protect It
- Week 2 (October 12-16): Securing Devices at Home and Work
- Week 3 (October 19-23): Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
- Week 4 (October 26-30): The Future of Connected Devices
The National Cybersecurity Alliance encourages all users to own their respective roles in protecting their devices. Their slogan for this month is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” What does it mean to be cyber smart, though?
Pay Attention to Everything you Click On
Links and downloads are easy ways for any cyber attacker to get into your devices. In fact, one in three homes with computers is infected with malicious software. If anyone you don’t know sends you a suspicious link, it’s best to leave it alone. The same policy goes to suspicious links from friends and family that ask for personal information. Before entering your information, ask the sender if they meant to give you the link because they might be infected. Links can also be in pictures that you click on or downloads sent to you.
Don’t Give Out Sensitive Information
The websites we go to don’t always have our best interests at heart. Sometimes they are fake websites made to look like the originals to get your information. Sometimes they are shady websites that promise free stuff in return for your credit card number. Whatever the case may be, make sure that you give your information to the correct websites that want the best for you. Some tips to look for are:
- Is the logo incorrect or not in the right place?
- Did you get to the link through an attachment?
- Are they asking for personal information?
If the answers to these are ‘yes,’ the best course of action would be to double-check. Scammers may recreate websites to steal your private information. As long as you are cautious, you lower the risk of losing your data.
Keep Frequent Backups
If something does infect your computer, such as malware or, even worse, ransomware, you could be risking the files you have on your device. Even if you keep your computer clean, sometimes old computers can shut down, or files can get corrupted. By keeping frequent backups of your important files, you remove any risk associated with day to day life.
Keep Privacy Settings Up to Date
What sites you visit on your computer say a lot about you. Some websites can share the data they have collected on you, helping with targeted ads and other information-based advertising. If you would rather a website not keep tabs on your internet usage, you can go into the website’s privacy settings and edit them.
Keeping your devices safe, at home and work is part of your role in cybersecurity. Everyone plays a role in keeping their devices secure. If you are careless with your security, you could risk losing files, data, personal information, or worse. This carelessness could even affect your coworkers, friends, and family.
Remember to follow along with Secure Data technologies as we put out new material for Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Every week, we will put out a new blog, video, and social media link to help you stay safe online. Do your part. #BeCyberSmart.