National Cyber Security Awareness Month
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month: Stop! Think! Connect!
Posted on 10/10/2017
This is the image for the news article titled October is Cyber Security Awareness Month: Stop! Think! Connect!

As a nod to National Cyber Security Awareness Month, please take a moment to review your own security practices. Never, never, never respond to any email request for personal information. Most business offices will not ask for a response in this way. Teachers in a school district in Atlanta recently had their paychecks hijacked to another bank account simply by clicking on a bogus email link. Redmond School District had social security numbers compromised by a staff member supplying information to an email pretending to be from the superintendent. And Southern Oregon University lost 1.9 million dollars to an email scheme. School entities are a target, please beware!

Other tips from the Stop-Think-Connect campaign:

WHEN IN DOUBT THROW IT OUT: Links in emails, social media posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.

GET SAVVY ABOUT WI-FI HOTSPOTS: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.

PROTECT YOUR $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with "https://" or "shttp://," which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. "Http://" is not secure.

LOCK DOWN YOUR LOGIN: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.

MAKE YOUR PASSWORD A SENTENCE: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember. On some sites, you can even use spaces.

UNIQUE ACCOUNT, UNIQUE PASSWORD: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.


KEEP SECURITY SOFTWARE CURRENT: Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT THE STOP, THINK, CONNECT SITE. The Dept. of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign.