OCTOBER IS NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH

The very first Cyber Security Awareness month was nine years ago. We are more digitally connected now than we were back then. If you access the Internet in anyway, you have some level of responsibility to be a good steward of the technology you use. If your computer gets infected with a virus, it could spread to the friends and family members you have in your email address book.

Some people may say, “I am not very technical, how am I supposed to know what to do to stay safe online?” There are some basic common sense things anyone can do to be safer online.  I will share those with you a little later. Also, ask for help. Ask your tech savvy friend or family member for help. You can also send me an email if you have questions.

The truth is, no method, plan, software or hardware is guaranteed to keep you 100% secure, but the risks can be minimized. No business or government is solely responsible for securing the Internet.  Each individual plays a very important part in keeping their own computers safe from cyber crooks. Hiding your head in the sand will not make the problem go away.

HERE ARE FEW THINGS YOU CAN DO TO DECREASE YOUR RISK

1. Create strong passwords that are easy for you to remember, but hard for other people to guess.

2. Keep your operating system, software programs and Internet browser updated.

3. Do not share too much personal information online.

4. Check your privacy settings on all of the social network sites you are a member of.

5. Do not click on suspicious links, especially in emails. Know the rating of links you find in a typical Google search BEFORE you click on it by using Web of Trust.

6. Block access to your laptop, smartphone or tablet by using a password.

7. De-activate location settings on your mobile devices so you don’t accidentally share your location.

Be aware, be vigilant, and be skeptical.

John L. Jones

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