Did you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month?
Whether we realize it or not, the internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life. Although the latest technologies provide a higher level of convenience to our lives, many of these also require that we share more information than ever. The security of this information and the security of these devices is not always guaranteed, however. It is important to remember that cyber criminals do not discriminate. They will target any computer or device system that is vulnerable regardless of whether it is a large corporation, a small business, or a home user.
As a shared responsibility, each one of us has a vital role to play in cybersecurity. Raising awareness about the importance of cybersecurity is key to not only stay safe online, but to also become more resilient in the event of a cyber incident. Below are a few of the many tips and guidelines that are designed to educate and increase the security of your internet-enabled devices:
- Keep your device clean. Just like your computer, smartphone or tablet, make sure that any device that connects to the internet is free from viruses and malware. Updating the software regularly on the device itself as well as the apps you use to control the device is important.
- Get to know your device. Try to learn as much as you can about your device and have a solid understanding on how it works, how it connects to the internet, and the type of of information it stores and transmits. That can also be said for the apps you are using on the device.
- Secure your network. The wireless network that you use to connect to internet-enabled devices needs to be secured. Avoid using wireless networks that might not be properly secured.
- Data privacy. With so many social media platforms, sharing small amounts of personal information may seem harmless, but hackers and other malicious actors can use this information to gain access to your online accounts. Remember that there is no delete button on the internet, so always think before posting content on the internet.
- Back up your data. Back up your data to a hard drive or the cloud regularly. Your data will therefore be protected and available in case of a hacker or malware delete the content from your device or online.
Always remember to report suspicious or harassing activity either to the provider of the services or law enforcement for serious threats.
If you are a victim of online crime, immediately notify your local authorities and file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or www.cybertipline.com