National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Published: Tuesday, 6 October 2020

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October marks the beginning of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), a month-long public awareness campaign which aims to raise awareness about Cyber Security and stress the collective effort needed to stop cyber intrusions and scams.

NCSAM is more important than ever, with ransomware attacks taking place every 14 seconds and the stark rise in phishing attacks. Perhaps more worrying is that 90% of all cyber attacks are caused by human error. Such statistics highlight the ongoing and relentless threats that organisations face and the need to ensure Cyber Security awareness at all levels.

If you Connect It, Protect It

The focus of Cyber Security Awareness Month’s first week is “If you Connect It, Protect It.” This emphasizes the potential vulnerability of all Internet-connected devices.

Cybersecurity starts with you and is everyone’s responsibility. There are currently an estimated 4.8 billion Internet users—over 62% of the world's population! This number will only grow, making the need to “Protect It” more important than ever.

The bottom line is that whenever you’re online, you’re vulnerable. If devices on your network are compromised for any reason, or if hackers break through an encrypted firewall, someone could be eavesdropping on you—even in your own home on encrypted Wi-Fi.

You may find these tips useful for protecting yourself and your devices:

  • Practice safe web surfing wherever you are by checking for the “green lock” or padlock icon in your browser bar—this signifies a secure connection.
  • When you find yourself out in the great “wild Wi-Fi West,” avoid free Internet access with no encryption.
  • If you do use an unsecured public access point, practice good Internet hygiene by avoiding sensitive activities (e.g., banking) that require passwords or credit cards. Your personal hotspot is often a safer alternative to free Wi-Fi.
  • Don’t reveal personally identifiable information such as your bank account number, SSN, or date of birth to unknown sources.
  • Type website URLs directly into the address bar instead of clicking on links or cutting and pasting from the email.

Remember, Do Your Part – #BeCyberSmart !

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