October Tricks – Protecting Yourself from Cyber Criminals

Cyber Awareness Month graphic.

Heads up! October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to cover a topic that honestly deserves year-round attention. It’s certainly not the first time we’ve emphasized the importance of smart protection. If you haven’t read some of our past blogs related to the topic, check out forty – yes forty! – of our prior posts for more insight on how you can ensure your online safety or recover from a breach.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is an initiative of the Department of Homeland Security and it’s the 15th year the government agency has partnered with industry to promote the resources every organization needs to improve cyber-threat awareness and resiliency.

During this particular week of October, the emphasis is on how effective cyber security requires everyone’s awareness and participation. This is not a topic restricted to the IT department. In fact, computers, are so ubiquitous, and we share data in so many ways, that our guard is often lowered. We send files and information in quick email replies on our phone or in shared drives between users, often overlooking the risks in favor of convenience. Personal laptops are used to share corporate secrets and then we click over to an unsecured shopping site with little concern for potential repercussions.

So how do we replace this casual approach to online interaction? No one is going to use computers less. The key is using computers, mobile and networked devices, in smarter ways, always aware of the inherent risks – and that takes awareness and education. A great place to start is with the NCSAM 2018 Toolkit, a comprehensive guide with a wealth of resources that can help organizations of any size engage employees, business partners and others in active discussions about cyber security. After all, what you don’t know can hurt you. So don’t risk it another day; start talking about cyber security this month…and keep the conversation going throughout the year.