During Cybersecurity Month, Own IT, Secure IT, Protect IT
Wouldn't it be wonderful if our cyberattackers announced themselves?
"Hello! I am a Cybersecurity Villain. I often pretend to be someone you know and trust – like your friend, supervisor or someone else in a position of authority – and ask for money. Once I get your personal information (passwords, Social Security numbers, bank account information, etc.), I sell it to the dark web, plant a virus on your computer, or just take your money and run."
Cybersecurity is on everyone's radar these days. The high volume of attacks tells us we need to stay educated about how to be cyber secure and protect ourselves from potential scams.
The truth is that hackers are becoming more sophisticated and threatening in their approaches, with ransomware showing up on mobile devices.
Cybersecurity might sound like a page out of a science fiction novel. But in fact, staying secure in our everyday online activity is part of life in the modern world.
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness month. During this time, everyone is encouraged to Own IT, Secure IT and Protect IT.
Here are a few ways that each of us can keep our personal information safe.
- Two-factor authentication: Password protection is an integral part of keeping information secure whether it's personal or work-related. Two-factor authentication is designed to add an extra layer of protection for access to information and applications. Tip: If you use Duo Push, don't approve a push notification unless you requested it. If you are not sure, deny the request.
- Don't fall for the phish: Thousands of emails are sent every day with the intent to trick recipients into providing personal information or monetary items such as gift cards or cash advances. Review the tips to spot a phish and report any suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile device security: Do you know what's in that app? Smartphones and tablets don't get traditional viruses, but they are still vulnerable to malicious attacks. A concern for Android users is malware bundled with legitimate applications, even when downloaded directly from the Google Play marketplace. Also, there have been a few cases of infected apps distributed from the Apple store. To protect against malware:
- Update your device frequently.
- Check permissions on installed apps to ensure the app can't control your microphone, camera or location, or access your private information.
- Enable encryption with a PIN or other method.
- Use safe browsing mode if available.
Diligent online presence can deter villains and give you greater peace of mind in your everyday activities. This October, be a superhero and champion your own online security.
Enhance your awareness at the all-campus Cyber Security Awareness Fair on Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the South Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center. For more information, go to email@example.com. Additionally, the National Cyber Security Alliance has more information about the 2019 campaign and how you can Own IT, Secure IT and Protect IT.
Rhonda Royse is a communications and marketing specialist in the Information Security Office, a unit of University Information Technology Services.