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Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your ‘App’-titude?


National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2016 kicked off on October 1. Throughout the month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with the National Cyber Security Alliance, is calling on Americans to take basic steps to secure their online lives and raise awareness for cybersecurity.
Each week, DHS provides information and advice to help individuals and organizations stay cyber-secure. Week 4 focuses how to secure your digital life and protect your personal information in an age of cutting-edge technology:

The number of connected devices we use is growing at a fast pace. Our cars, household appliances, finances, healthcare, and more can now be managed at our fingertips with our mobile devices and different apps. These advances make our lives easier, but also present a new set of security risks.

Though it might seem like a daunting task, everyone can play a role in creating a safer and more secure Internet. Here are six simple steps to take to protect yourself online:

  • Enable a strong authentication on your sensitive accounts (for suggestions, see "Lock Down Your Login" below).
  • Change the factory-set password on your at-home wireless network (see the #CyberAware Tip of the Week" below).
  • Keep any device that connects to the Internet free from viruses and malware by updating the software regularly.
  • Be diligent in what links or emails you open.
  • Set strong passwords and change them regularly.
  • Know what information an app will collect and determine if you really want to share such information before downloading the app.

For more information, visit “Stop. Think. Connect” online.

Lock Down Your Login

There is a simple way to protect yourself from hackers and identity theft. Enabling strong authentication on your online accounts – including your banking, credit card, and email accounts – adds an extra layer of security beyond just the username and password.

Some examples of strong authentication are a unique code or PIN number sent to your mobile device, a biometric measure like a fingerprint or facial recognition, or a token to verify that it is you attempting to log in. The White House recently launched the “Lock Down Your Login” campaign to encourage all Americans to protect themselves online with strong authentication.

#CyberAware Tip of the Week: Lock Down Your Home Wi-Fi

Your home’s wireless router is the primary entrance for cybercriminals to access all of your connected devices. Secure your Wi-Fi network, and your digital devices, by changing the factory-set default password and username.

For more specific information on how to secure your home’s wireless network, visit the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team’s “Securing Your Home Network” Security Tip.

The theme for Week 4 will be "Building Resilience in Critical Infrastructure."

Cybersecurity Resources from ICMA

 

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