October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, But it is a Year-Round Responsibility

Since 2004, every October has been designated Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This collaborative effort between the security industry and the government is meant to raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity. The goal is for everyone, citizens and businesses, to be safer and more secure online.
 
We believe that every month is Cybersecurity Awareness Month because security awareness and education can make the connected world a safer place.
 
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is the lead federal organization for Cybersecurity Awareness Month and works alongside the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA)—a non-profit organization focused on cybersecurity education and awareness.
 
The theme for 2020 is “Do Your Part. Be Cybersmart,” and aims to empower organizations and individuals to own their role in cybersecurity; emphasizing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to improve security. The main message this year is “If you connect it, protect it,” which encourages businesses and individuals to implement stronger security practices, raise cybersecurity awareness, educate vulnerable audiences, and train employees on security practices. 
 
Being more secure online is a shared responsibility and creating a safer cyber environment requires everyone’s help.

Here is a short list of how individuals and businesses can participate in improving cybersecurity:
 
Lock Down Your Login
Passwords that are longer are better than complex ones. A strong password is at least 12 characters long. Even better, use 2-factor authentication, which uses a password plus another piece of information, or multi-factor authentication, which includes biometrics, like a fingerprint, or unique, one-time use codes.
 
When in Doubt, Throw it Out
Links in emails, tweets, texts, and social media messages are the easiest way for cyber criminals to get your information. Never click on a link that you weren’t expecting or that comes from someone you don’t know.
 
Keep a Clean Machine
Keep all software and security updates on internet connected devices up to date to reduce the risk of ransomware and malware.
 
Back it Up
Protect your digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely. If you fall victim to ransomware or other threats, you can restore your data from a backup.
 
Own Your Online Presence
Every time you create a new account, download a new app, or get a new device, configure the privacy and security settings first, and check them at least once a year to make sure they are still configured correctly.
 
Share with Care
Think before posting. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it, and how it might affect you or others.
 
Get Savvy with Wifi Hotspots
Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, which means anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while connected. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection.
 
We believe that every month is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so please do your part to improve cybersecurity at home and at work.
 
MCPc is a global data protection company that helps organizations dramatically minimize their risk of disruption from unforeseen events like cyber-attacks. Our goal is to help every client achieve the highest degree of security and the least amount of risk their organization can afford, or what we call, SecurityCertainty.