National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2016 kicked off on October 1, and throughout the month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with the National Cyber Security Alliance, will call on Americans to take basic steps to secure their online lives and raise awareness for cybersecurity.
Each week, DHS will provide information and advice to help individuals and organizations stay cyber-secure. The message for Week 1 recognizes the role of individuals and provides a “Cybersecurity 101” reminder for both local government employees and community residents:
We are all leading increasingly digital lives. We shop from our homes, bank from our mobile devices, and connect with friends from around the world on social networks. Yet, with all of its added convenience, constant connectivity also brings a new set of security risks.
You lock your doors at night, look both ways before crossing the street, and brush your teeth. These activities protect your physical security and health, and it’s just as important for you to take proactive steps every day to protect yourself when you are online.
There are easy ways to better protect yourself against hackers and identity theft. Many online services have the option to secure your accounts beyond just a username and password to log in. This is called stronger authentication. The White House recently launched the Lock Down Your Login campaign to encourage all Americans to enable stronger authentication for their online accounts which can include a unique code sent as a text message, biometric verification, or a token.
Always opt to enable stronger authentication when available, especially for accounts with sensitive information including your email or bank accounts. A stronger authentication helps verify a user has authorized access to an online account. For example, it could be a one-time PIN texted to a mobile device, providing an added layer of security beyond the password.
The theme for Week 2 will be “Cyber from the Break Room to the Board Room.”
Additional Cybersecurity Resources: