National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is observed in October each year to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across our Nation, ensuring that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. Co-led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), it is designed to engage, raise awareness, and educate the public to increase the Nation’s resiliency in the event of a cyber incident.
Since the Presidential proclamation establishing Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2004, Congress, federal, state and local governments and leaders from industry and academia have formally recognized the initiative. This united effort is necessary to maintain safer and more resilient cyberspace and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is the Nation’s risk advisor, working with partners to defend against today’s threats and collaborating to build a more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future. CISA was created in November 2018 as the first civilian cybersecurity agency in the U.S. federal government. The agency leads the national effort to defend critical infrastructure against today’s threats while working with partners across all levels of government and in the private sector to secure against the evolving risks of tomorrow.
“This year, the NCSA’s key themes for Cybersecurity Awareness Month address the extraordinary circumstances of recent times,” said Kelvin Coleman, Executive Director, National Cyber Security Alliance. “The COVID-19 pandemic has blurred the lines between our personal and professional lives, making the need to stay connected through technology more important than ever. Our goal in 2020 is to ensure that users understand the impact of their reliance on connected devices while arming them with the knowledge to own their role in staying safe and secure online while minimizing their exposure to unnecessary cyber risks.”
“From the way we used to work and learn – to how we socialize with our family and friends – all of this has significantly changed,” said Bryan Ware, Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. “While our increased use of online platforms and virtual technologies present us with new ways to learn, work, and maintain our relationships, they also expose existing vulnerabilities and opportunities for cybercriminals to attack. Every day, it is important for every American to take an active role and ensure that cybersecurity is an aspect of their personal and professional lifestyle.”
The 2020 theme #DoYourPart #BeCyberSmart encourages individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.
Let’s share some tips about how to protect yourself against cybercrimes :
- Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media and any other service that requires logging in.
- Shake up your passphrase protocol. Consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Get creative and customize your standard passphrase for different sites, which can prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to these accounts and protect you in the event of a breach. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passphrase for each of your accounts.
- If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device or other network devices, the best defense against viruses and malware is updating the latest security software, web browser and operating systems. Sign up for automatic updates, if you can, and protect your devices with antivirus software.
- Play hard to get with strangers. Cybercriminals use phishing tactics, hoping to fool their victims. If you’re unsure who an email or message is from ̶ even if the details appear accurate ̶ or if the email looks “phishy,” do not respond and do not click on any links or attachments found in that email. When available, use the “junk” or “block” option to no longer receive messages from a particular sender.
- Never click and tell. Limit what information you post on social media ̶ from personal addresses to where you like to grab a coffee. Many people don’t realize that these seemingly random details are all cybercriminals need to know to target you, your loved ones and your physical belongings ̶ online and in the physical world. Keep Social Security numbers, account numbers and passphrases private, as well as specific information about yourself, such as your full name, address, birthday and even vacation plans. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are – and where you aren’t – at any given time.
- Keep tabs on your apps. Most connected appliances, toys and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved —gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense—only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
- Stay protected while connected. Before you connect to any public Wi-Fi, be sure to confirm the network’s name and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate. If you use an unsecured public access point, practice good cyber hygiene by avoiding sensitive activities (e.g., banking) that require passphrases or credit card numbers. Your personal hotspot is a safer alternative to free Wi-Fi. Only use sites that begin with “https://” when shopping or banking online.
During the next months, CBT Technology Institute will launch the updated A.S. in Network Administration and the Computer Network Support Specialist Diploma programs, and new Cybersecurity, Linux and Cisco CCNA courses. Please call our Admissions Representatives at (786) 567-3162 or visit our webpage to get more detailed schedules, classes, start dates, and pre-requisites. You are one call away to change your life. Contact us.
To learn more about how to participate in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, please visit www.staysafeonline.org.