Our Shared Responsibility: National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Not just this month, but every month! You must be cyber aware.
October 11, 2017

Our Shared Responsibility is the theme of this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, held annually in October since its inception in 2003. The goal of National Cyber Security Awareness Month is to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

The internet touches every aspect of our lives, whether we realize it or not. This is why everyone needs to remain diligent in protecting themselves from hackers and breaches.

One myth about cybersecurity is that cyber criminals only target businesses and corporations. In fact, cyber criminals also target personal home computers and phones as well.

Better Business Bureau Serving Metro Atlanta, Athens & Northeast Georgia and the National Cyber Security Alliance recommend the following tips to stay secure while online.

Make strong passwords:

Create a long and unique password for each account, changing them frequently. Also, consider using a two-factor authentication for your accounts which requires entering a special code. If you can’t remember all your passwords, write them down and store them in a safe place away from your computer.

Stay safe online: 

When shopping online, there are a few precautions you should take. Make sure the website is in HttpS form and displays the lock icon, don’t use open Wi-Fi networks as hackers can easily gain access to your information, and pay using a credit card, as those typically offer more protection from the banks.  

Use antivirus software: 

Antivirus software won’t protect you from everything, but it can help against common well-known malware. Install reputable antivirus software, regularly scan for viruses, and be sure to keep it up-to-date. 

Delete any data you no longer need: 

Deleting old data you don’t need will minimize the amount of information available to a hacker in the event they gain access to those devices. If you don’t need data, encrypt it and move it to an offline storage device, or just delete it all together. 

Be careful what you post online: 

When you post something online, even after you “delete it,” that post could be there forever. Before you post online, ask yourself how that post will be perceived later on and who might see it. Also, before you decide to post photos and videos of your friends online, think of their privacy. 

Always keep your operating system up to date:

Software updates are not only important for the function of your computer, but they usually contain critical security updates and vulnerability patches. If possible, enable automatic updates. 

Beware of spam emails:

Check your spam filters on your email to ensure they are filtering out the junk mail from entering your inbox. If you receive a suspicious email, don’t click on any links, as those links can be riddled with viruses, and don’t respond to the sender. It’s best to delete the email forever and scan your computer for any potential viruses.

For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org/atlanta