It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Be a Cybersecurity Awareness Champion.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, promoted every October since in 2003 by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Department of Homeland Security. xMatters is actively participating, and we’re proud to be designated a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion by the NCSA. Cybersecurity Awareness Month Campion organizations, designated by the NCSA, represent those dedicated to promoting a safer, more secure, and more trusted internet.
We take cybersecurity seriously; and to celebrate, we will be publishing articles and tips on how to secure your information online.
If You Connect, You Must Protect
We all connect our devices to the internet to make the most use of them. Some networks are well protected (home or office), while others may not be protected at all (public wi-fi). Any one of these networks could be the target of a hacker, putting us and our sensitive information at risk. Think of the many things we’re doing while connecting to these networks, the applications we’re using, and the information we’re accessing. Here are a few examples:
- Bank accounts
- Social media
- Online shopping and retail services
- Government services
- Health and medical services
- Corporate accounts
- Business applications
- Intellectual property
Any device that connects to the internet is vulnerable. The best defense is to keep device security software, web browsers, and operating systems up to date. However, to be really secure, we must take active measures to keep ahead of the hidden traps and overt attacks that could compromise our security and privacy. Below are examples to be mindful of:
Update your privacy settings
Your Personal Information is like money. Be Cyber Smart about where you’re sharing it, who you’re sharing it with, and how it’s being used.
Stay protected while connected
Public wi-fi is not secure or safe. If you must connect, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot.
Use semi-open wi-fi networks instead of open wi-fi
Consider Wi-Fi that serve airport lounges or nearby coffee shops that have hidden SSIDs or put their passwords on receipts instead of giving them out freely.
Avoid confidential tasks on public Wi-Fi
When you connect to a public Wi-Fi, best to NOT sign into accounts such as your credit card or bank. This is probably one of the easiest common-sense ways to share your information with the “bad guys” or cyber criminals.
Play “hard to get” with strangers
If you’re unsure who an email is from—even if the details appear accurate—do not respond, and do not click on any links or attachments. Not only could you compromise your own privacy, you could put your friends at risk if you pass malware on to them with your next email.
Never click and tell
Cybercriminals love it when you overshare on social media – they can learn all about you! Be Cyber Smart and make it harder for them by avoiding posting real names, places you frequent and home, school or work locations.
Keep tabs on your apps
Have rules for keeping tabs on Your Apps:
- Delete apps you don’t need or no longer use.
- Review app permissions. Say “No” to any that don’t make sense.
- Avoid allowing apps to track you location or usage “always.”
- Only download apps from trusted sources.
If you collect it, protect it
When it comes to passphrases, it’s best to mix it up and stay unique. Keep them fun and easy to remember, and don’t reuse them. Consider using a password protection service like Keeper, LastPass, or Dashlane.
Double your login protection
No matter how long and strong your passphrase is, a breach is always possible. Make it harder for cybercriminals to access your account by enabling multi-factor authentication.
It is really a matter of managing the risk
We connect a lot of devices to a lot of networks. Be conscious of what you’re accessing, where you’re accessing it from, and what device you’re accessing it with. And remember, if you connect, you must protect.
You can help spread awareness about ways to protect your information and stay safe online. For more information on staying safe and on participating in Cybersecurity Awareness Month, please refer to the following links:
Open a free account and experience xMatters’ commitment to privacy and security for yourself.