The Internet has become woven into the fabric of nearly everything we do today. From doing homework and shopping to keeping in touch with friends and family — and so much more — it’s tough to imagine life without it. However, the convenience it provides comes with risks in the form of cyber threats and data breaches. Managed properly, though, these risks can be mitigated.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collective effort by government, industry and civil society to ensure everyone is taking steps to be safer online. In honor of NCSAM, which takes place each October, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is sharing this simple, actionable advice that everyone can follow to stay safer and more secure online: “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” STOP and make sure security measures are in place. THINK about the consequences of your actions and behaviors online. CONNECT and enjoy the Internet. The following tips are recommended when surfing the Web.
Keep a clean machine. Keep all software on Internet-connected devices – including PCs, mobile phones and tablets – up to date to reduce risk of infection from malware.
Stay two steps ahead. Turn on two-step authentication ‒ also known as two-step verification or multifactor authentication ‒ on accounts where available.
When in doubt, throw it out. Links sent via e-mail, social media posts and online ads are a common way for cybercriminals to try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
Share with care. What you post can last a lifetime, so before posting anything online, think about the implications. Heading out of North Jersey for a few days of R&R? It may be tempting to post photos and details on your travels, but don’t. Revealing these specifics provides information that criminals could use to target your home while you’re away.
Get the lowdown before you download. Review app privacy policies and understand what data (such as location and entry to your social networks) it can access on your device before you download. Delete apps you are no longer using.
Protect your passwords. Improve your defenses by creating passwords that you can remember but others will have a hard time guessing. Preferably use different passwords for each of your accounts that include a combination of numbers, capital and lowercase letters, and symbols.
With more than one billion data records compromised worldwide and 348 million U.S. Internet users’ identities exposed in breaches during 2014, NCASM is encouraging all of us Internet users to practice heightened vigilance to protect our personal information. Here are two ways you can participate:
- Use the #CyberAware hashtag in all your social media posts to join the conversation.
- Join the discussion every Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT throughout October using the hashtag #ChatSTC.
Protect Your Business
Just as important as keeping your personal information secure is protecting your business. No matter the industry, every company faces cybersecurity challenges. All businesses should take a proactive approach to safeguarding employees, customers and intellectual property. The NCSA recommends some recourses to help protect you professional interests:
- RE: Cyber: staysafeonline.org/re-cyber
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community Voluntary Program: us-cert.gov/ccubedvp
- Better Business Bureau – Data Security Made Simple: bbb.org/data-security
- Federal Trade Commission – Data Security: ftc.gov/datasecurity
While taking proper precautions is a vital part of protecting yourself online at all times, NVE Bank customers can rest assured that they are protected when banking with us online. Security is one of our top priorities when it comes to our customers’ financial and personal information. Our online security measures include the latest industry-accepted standards and practices. You can read more by visiting our online security page.