Every October, we welcome crimson fall foliage, pumpkin spiced lattes, cooler temperatures, and the official start of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). At Kaspersky, we are proud to champion this cause every day, but we value NCSAM because it is a collaborative effort between the government and the industry to ensure that the nation has the resources to stay safe and secure online.
The theme for NCSAM 2019 is “OWN IT. SECURE IT. PROTECT IT.” This year’s theme is extremely fitting because we all live in a world where people own at least one internet-enabled device, yet many are not aware of the importance of securing their devices to protect their digital data and privacy.
Own it: Don’t let your tech own you
On the Kaspersky Daily blog, we publish posts and share personal experiences on how everyone can stay safe online. We help our audience understand how the devices and software applications used on a daily basis work, and more importantly, highlight critical areas that may potentially expose users to risk.
For example, we’ve covered how to customize your privacy settings for your apps and social media accounts and have written in great length about the growth of IoT devices and its many vulnerabilities.
Remember, all those services are designed to assist you in your daily tasks. Don’t let your tech own you!
Secure it: Your digital profile
It is widely believed that data is king, and cybercriminals will stop at nothing to get a hold your data. For every new device or software version release, a cybercriminal somewhere is attempting to hack their way to your personal information using complex methodologies or brute force.
This doesn’t mean they’ve given up on simple schemes like pretending to be a Nigerian Prince who needs your help or the IRS who is threatening to lock you up in prison because you owe the government $243 in taxes. Side note: the IRS will only correspond with you through the mail—never through a phone call, text, or e-mail.
Too often there are reports of yet another company whose data was breached or leaked and cybercriminals will use this data in attempts to steal your account information. This is why it is important to practice strong password hygiene to protect your digital profile. Never reuse the same password across different sites because it only makes it easier for cybercriminals to steal more of your information. You can find some of our posts on password hygiene here, here, and here. If you need help remembering and generating secure passwords (which we all do), there are many reliable passwords managers available. Our favorites are the Kaspersky Password Manager or LastPass.
Remember, securing your digital profile doesn’t stop at strong passwords. Always ask yourself:
- “Do I have multi-factor authentication enabled when available?”
- “Is my credit card/payment information protected when shopping online?”
- “Am I using a secure network? (avoid using public wi-fi to perform sensitive activities)
Protect it: The other aspect of cyber hygiene
Be cautious of every click, share, send, check-in, and post you make. As the saying goes, once it’s on the internet—it will remain out there forever. Even if you delete it, there’s a good chance it’s out there somewhere.
Social media has developed a tendency for users to overshare details of their lives without considering the consequences. While you’re on vacation, think twice before geotagging your location or hotel. If you’re having a wild night out with your friends, think twice before documenting those moments and sharing them on your Instagram Stories for anyone to see.
We hope that throughout the month, you’ll spend time to assess your digital behavior, optimize your security, and stay in-the-know with the security headlines. In addition to the Kaspersky Daily blog, below are other resources available where you can find our best tips and advice on how you can become more resilient against cyberattacks.