It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month

This month marks the 11th anniversary of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, National Cyber Security Month was created to raise awareness among the public about cyber security.

As the same for last year, this year’s theme is Our Shared Responsibility. With the internet becoming a more integral part of our daily lives, it’s important for everyone to take necessary actions to protect yourself and to make others become aware of the different risks on the internet.

From taking steps to secure your devices to safeguarding your personal information, everyone plays a crucial role in helping to make the internet safer.

Stop. Think. Connect.

Every day, hackers and cyber criminals are devising new tricks to steal your identity or spam you for their own financial gains. Protecting yourself starts with these 3 simple steps: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Always take precautions when using the Internet and think about whether your online behaviors are putting you at risk.

The following tips can help you protect your personal information:

  • Create strong and unique passwords – Create strong and unique passwords for each of your online account and your device. Use a combination of upper and lower letters, numbers and symbols. Never use familiar things such as your pets’ names, your social security and phone numbers, or your address for your password. It is also recommended to change your passwords several times a year.
  • Protect your devices with latest antivirus and antimalware programs –Protect your computer, tablet, and smart phone with the latest antivirus software and antimalware programs. These programs prevent malicious programs from hijacking your devices and stealing your personal data.
  • Safeguard your personal information – Do not share your social security number and other personal information with anyone you do not know or trust, especially on social media sites. Hackers and cybercriminals are always trying different tricks to get you to reveal your personal and financial information. One of the most common tricks they use is to send you an email pretending to be from your bank and asking you to click on a link and enter your username and password. This is called phishing.
  • Use a VPN when connecting to a public WiFi network – Public Wifi networks are inherently unsecure. With the right tools, hackers connecting to the same network can steal your personal information. To protect yourself, always use a VPN like Hotspotshield VPN when connecting to a public WiFi network. A VPN protects your by encrypting all your internet communications.

Help Promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)

To help combat cybercrimes, you can do your part by taking the necessary measures to protect yourself and sharing the above internet safety and security tips with your friends and family members.

To learn more about National Cyber Security Awareness, refer to these sources:

  • http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/about
  • http://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month-2014
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