Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Ghosts, Ghouls and Hackers

With October wrapping up comes Halloween, a holiday where you’ll likely get a few ghosts and ghouls knocking on your door. While you aren’t afraid of trick-or-treaters, you should pay attention to another frightening creature, hackers.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Throughout the month, government agencies have discussed the importance of cybersecurity for national, business and personal security.

Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency Director GEN Keith Alexander stressed the importance of public agencies and the private sector to collaborate and share information to protect national security.

The National Cybersecurity Alliance uses the motto, “STOP.THINK.CONNECT.” to quickly explain the steps that everyone should take to protect their information online. STOP reminds users to educate themselves about the risks. Users should THINK about the impact of poor security measures and to watch for warning signs of an attack. Using the Internet is crucial to business and CONNECTING when you know that your data is safe provides you with a peace of mind.

Use October As Your Cybersecurity Reminder

You should pay attention to your online security throughout the year, but in case you don’t, Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a good reminder to take time for a few preventative protection measures.

  • Change Your Password
    You should change your password every 90 days. While this is the best measure for security, it may seem like a lot and can make remembering your current password difficult. If changing your password often is something that you forget to do, take the time every October.
  • Update Your OS and Browser
    If you haven’t updated your OS or browser in a few months, you should find out if a new version has been released and download it. For the future, you should also turn on automatic updates so that your system can be protected against newfound bugs.
  • Be Aware of Social Engineering
    Social Engineering includes messages that appear to come from a bank or a PayPal invoice. They look just like the real website but are actually a dummy website that asks for your information to steal it. The best way to avoid entering your information on one of these sites is to go to the official website and login from there instead of clicking on links in e-mails.
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