Your Online Safety: Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).  This year’s theme, as determined by the National Cyber Security Alliance is “Own IT.  Secure IT.  Protect IT.”

Over the past decade, and increasingly each year, our online lives have become an integral, almost inseparable, component of our every day lives.  From banking and shopping, to reading books and keeping up with the news, almost anything can be done online.  With that convenience comes risk – the risk of your personal information being compromised and used against you.  If you opt for weekly grocery delivery and monthly drop offs of your toiletries, dog food, and prescriptions, please do so responsibly.  Take accountability for protecting your information and be proactive about cyber security.

Own IT.

  • Never click and tell
    • Oversharing on social media makes it much easier for cybercriminals to gather information about you to use in hacking attempts
  • Update your privacy settings
    • Check out the settings on your social media accounts or apps you use – make sure you’re not sharing anything too personal
  • Keep tabs on your apps
    • Only download apps from trusted sources
    • Delete apps you no longer use
    • Review app permissions – say “no” if something doesn’t make sense

Secure IT.

  • Shake up your passphrase protocol
    • P@s$w0rds_d0n’t_hav3_2_b_th!s_Complic@teD!, use a passphrase that’s easy for you to remember, but hard for someone else to guess
    • Don’t use the same passphrase for multiple sites or apps, and don’t reuse a passphrase from the past
  • Double your login protection
  • Play hard to get with strangers
    • If you aren’t expecting something – don’t click links, don’t download attachments, and don’t respond with personal or protected information
    • Offers of a financial reward from strangers are too good to be true
    • Cyber threats are often empty – don’t give in by sharing information that could cause damage

Protect IT.

  • If you connect, you must protect
    • Make sure your security software is up-to-date and running
  • Stay protected while connected
    • Public WiFi networks are not secure, limit what you do and avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services
    • Consider using a VPN or mobile hotspot
  • If you collect it, protect it
    • Any data your business collects must be safely stored and protected, this includes customer and employee information
    • Limit access to protected information only to those who require it to perform their job

Prioritizing cyber security is critical.  The repercussions of a security breach are far reaching and can sometimes be irreparable if you don’t have the right protection in place.  Own IT.  Secure IT.  Protect IT.

Check out our Cyber Security Checklist to see how well-protected you are.  If the results are concerning, we’re here to help – just reach out!