The Internet has become more than just a place to perform Google searches or play online games. Now more than ever, we are going online to shop, bank, and connect in so many other ways through numerous platforms. Because of this increase in use, the amount of personal information we make available on the Internet has also increased, thereby creating more opportunities for that information to be stolen. However, if the proper steps are taken, the risks that come with an online presence can be alleviated.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) — observed every October — is a collective effort between government, industry, and civil society to ensure everyone is taking the necessary steps to be safer and more secure online. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) organizes an annual campaign in support of this platform, furthering efforts to raise awareness of the importance of online safety. The agency’s current campaign, “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” encourages everyone to follow these simple tips to keep information safe, resulting in a safer online presence.
Lock down your login. When offered, go beyond simply using a username and pas
sword and opt for “Strong Authentication,” also referred to as multi-factor or two-factor authentication, or login approval. This option allows you to protect your information by ensuring the person logging in is actually you, not someone else trying to access your account using your password.
Protect your wallet. When banking and shopping online, be sure that the site is security-enabled. When you see a website address beginning with “https://” it means the site takes extra steps to help secure your information, as opposed to sites beginning with just “http://.”
Be aware of what you share. Limit how, and with whom you share information online by changing your privacy and security settings on web services and devices to suit your comfort level.
Get savvy with Wi-Fi hotspots. With the rise in mobile device usage, Wi-Fi hotspots have become a basic tool used by the public. Free Wi-Fi is a convenience offered many locations —even vast expanses, like here in downtown Englewood. Use them, but with care! By limiting the type of activity you conduct when connected to these hotspots, you can also limit who can access your device through the network.
Keep your software up to date. Turning on automatic updates on your software programs can help defend against known risks like viruses, malware and other online threats. Employing the latest security software, web browser, and operating system is the best defense.
Think before you act. Be cautious of websites or e-mails that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for personal information.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Internet is one of, if not the most relevant inventions known to man. It makes our lives easier and offers priceless benefits, but, as is often said, with great power comes great responsibility. We can only reap these benefits if we keep the Internet and ourselves safer, more secure, and better trusted. With an estimated 50 billion people using Internet connected devices by the year 2020, it’s important to Stop and Think before you Connect.
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 reading our online security commitment.