October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The first week's theme is helping you to stay safe online and we have offered some tips to help you get started.
Week 1: Simple Steps to Online Safety
The two biggest reasons a computer can be infected with malware are, they are not patched/updated or users click on links or open attachments in emails. Here are a few tips to keep you safe on line and protect your indemnity:
- Keep your systems patched and updated! Patches and updates are released for three reasons, to fix found vulnerabilities, fix stability issues and to add new features. The first item is critical to keeping you safe!
- Keep your anti-virus / malware software updated! The anti-virus/malware protection identifies and blocks potential threats from exploiting vulnerabilities on your computer.
- Don’t click on links or attachments contained in emails until you verify that they are legitimate! IF in doubt throw it out! Hackers are constantly sending out malicious programs via email attachments and links on websites. They now can make these messages appear as if they came from someone you know and trust. Know how to identify dangerous messages.
- Perform period backups of your computer. If you be attacked by ransomware or some other threat, you need to be able to restore your computer.
- Don’t share too much information on social media. Be sure to set the privacy setting on Facebooks and other social media applications. If you share pictures of yourself on vacation, you are potentially letting the world know that there probably is no one at home to protect your possessions – think before you post.
- Keep personal information personal. Personal information can be used for identity theft or make you a target for spear phishing.
- Setup automatic alerts for your backing and credit card transactions. Banks and credit card companies can now send you a text whenever there is any activity to your account. This is a great way to detect unauthorized credit card or bank activity!
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is sponsored by The U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Next week the theme will be Cybersecurity in the Workplace in Everyone’s Business. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign-up for our email list and never miss a post.