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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

What is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)? 

NCSAM is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Cybersecurity is not just the responsibility of governments, companies, groups, or individuals. Everyone shares the responsibility for cybersecurity—from the average smartphone user to a corporate CEO, we all must be more cyber aware. 

This October marks the 15th anniversary for NCSAM. In an effort to keep our customers and community more cyber aware, here are five tips to help you protect your personal information online.

Cyber Awareness Best Practices: 

  1. Keep a clean machine. Keeping your internet-connected devices free from malware and infections makes the internet safer for you and more secure for everyone. Regularly scan your personal and office devices for viruses and spyware along with keeping your software up to date. 
  2. Avoid oversharing online. As a professional, it may be very exciting to share what you do at work with others. Remember your organizations security standards and be careful with what you disclose, especially in public settings such as social media. You never know who may be listening. Also, put away your work identification or badge when out in public and when using public transportation. 
  3. Protect your password. Create a password or passphrase with eight characters or more and a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols and don’t make it easy to guess. Additionally, always opt to enable stronger authentication when available, especially for accounts with sensitive information including your email, medical files, or bank accounts.
  4. Stay protected while connected. Before you connect to any public hotspot such as on an airplane, airport, hotel, or café—be sure to confirm the name of the network and login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate. If devices on your network are compromised for any reason, or if hackers break through an encrypted firewall, someone could be eavesdropping on you-even in your own home on encrypted Wi-Fi. If you are unable to confirm the actual Wi-Fi network, cellular service is your next best option. 
  5. Play hard to get with strangers. Cyber criminals will often offer a financial reward, threaten you if you don’t engage, or claim that someone is in need of help. Don’t fall for it! Keep your personal information as private as possible. Cyber criminals can also use social engineering with these details to try to manipulate you into skipping normal security protocols. 

For more security tips, visit our Security Center.