Did You Take the National Cyber Pledge During October?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Allan Pratt, MBA

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National Cyber Security Month, celebrated every October, is history.

Did you implement any special awareness activities for your employees? At a minimum, did you require that your employees change their passwords?

Check out these facts from the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center:

  • During 2010, more than 12 million records were involved in data breaches.
  • During 2010, cyber attacks on social networks doubled from 2009.
  • More than 100 million computers are infected with malware.
  • 32% of teens have experienced online harassment.
  • 42% of younger children (ages 4-8) have been victims of cyber bullies.

Yet, with the increase of online data breaches, cyber attacks, and online harassment, we continue to participate on social networking sites without HTTPS protection, without checking privacy controls on a regular basis, and without performing due diligence on strangers who send us invitations to connect.

So what should you do? Here are good ways to protect yourself everyday, not just during Cyber Security Awareness Month:

  • Use virus protection on your computer.
  • Don’t open emails when you don’t recognize the sender – and definitely don’t open attachments when you don’t recognize the sender.
  • Update your software on a regular basis.
  • If you use a computer or mobile device for purchases, only provide confidential information (personally identifiable information) if the URL has HTTPS security.
  • Secure your computer, smartphone, and mobile device with a password.
  • Learn how to disable the geotagging function on your mobile phone so that you don’t share your location unintentionally.
  • Don’t use your laptop at Wi-Fi locations since your data may be accessible to anyone.
  • Consider backing up your files to an external hard drive or other media on a regular basis – weekly if possible.

And when Cyber Security Awareness Month begins next October, you can take the National Cyber Pledge and promote safe online computing to friends and family.

Allan Pratt, an infosec consultant, represents the alignment of marketing, management, and technology. With an MBA Degree and four CompTIA certs in hardware, software, networking, and security, Allan translates tech issues into everyday language that is easily understandable by all business units. Expertise includes installation and maintenance of hardware, software, peripherals, printers, and wireless networking; development and implementation of integration and security plans; project management; and development of technical marketing and web strategies in the IT industry. Follow Allan on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/Tips4Tech) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Tips4Tech).

Cross-posted from Tips4Tech

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