Published Wednesday Oct 24, 2018
Americans are spending more time online than ever before. As more people use the Internet for online shopping, banking, financial management, and socializing, they also expose themselves to increased cyber risks. Online threats and cyber-attacks threaten the future of our national and economic security. Because cybersecurity is important to our Nation, the Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) at Tennessee Tech University is joining with the Department of Homeland Security to raise cybersecurity awareness across the Nation during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month during the month of October.
To celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2018, CEROC is sharing cybersecurity best practices throughout its social media (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TechCEROC and Twitter: @TechCEROC) and other networks to encourage everyone to consider the role the individual plays in keeping our nation cyber aware and ready.
“It’s a time to look at things you can do to be safer in your activities,” said Eric Brown, assistant director of Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center. “About 90 percent of cybersecurity is common sense. It’s making good choices.”
In October, and every day, the DHS STOP. THINK. CONNECT.TM Campaign offers the following tips:
- Enable stronger authentication. Always enable stronger authentication for an extra layer of security beyond the password that is available on most major email, social media and financial accounts. Stronger authentication (e.g., multi-factor authentication that can use a one-time code texted to a mobile device) helps verify that a user has authorized access to an online account. For more information about authentication, visit the Lock Down Your Login Campaign at www.lockdownyourlogin.org.
- Make your passwords long & strong. Use complex passwords with a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters. Use unique passwords for different accounts. Change your passwords regularly, especially if you believe they have been compromised.
- Keep a clean machine. Update the security software, operating system, and web browser on all of your Internet-connected devices. Keeping your security software up to date will prevent attackers from taking advantage of known vulnerabilities.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Links in email and online posts are often the way cyber criminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious (even if you know the source), delete it.
- Share with care. Limit the amount of personal information you share online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
- Secure your Wi-Fi network. Your home’s wireless router is the primary entrance for cybercriminals to access all of your connected devices. Secure your Wi-Fi network, and your digital devices, by changing the factory-set default password and username.
“Cybersecurity is not just the responsibility of governments, companies, groups, or individuals,” Brown continued. “Everyone shares the responsibility for cybersecurity – from the average smartphone user to a corporate CEO.”
Learn more about National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and how to protect yourself from threats online at https://www.dhs.gov/ncsam. Cyber safety resources can be found on the STC website at https://www.dhs.gov/about-stopthinkconnect.