At the end of 2018, the number of devices connected to the internet reached 22 billion worldwide. That’s an incomprehensible inventory of PCs, wearables, smart TVs, connected cars, smartphones and mobile devices. That said, it is more critical than ever to better understand the connected devices and applications we use daily in order to help keep our personal information safe and secure.
As the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) kick off the 16th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), we are excited to debut our new Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. theme. Throughout the month, we will share clear, simple calls to action that we believe will help to encourage personal accountability and inspire behavioral change.
During this first week of NCSAM, we will focus on what everyone needs to do to “own” – basically to keep their devices and online lives safe and secure – both at home and in the workplace. If you think about it, interconnectivity touches almost every aspect of our daily lifestyle whether at home with family and on go at school, work or out and about. While this constant connectivity offers countless possibilities for innovation and modernization, it also presents opportunities for potential cybersecurity threats that can compromise highly sensitive personal data.
Here are some user-friendly calls to action that will help you own your personal online security:
Never Click and Tell: staying safe on social media
Limit what information you post on social media – from personal addresses and vacation plans to where you like to grab coffee. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly random details are all criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones and your physical belongings – both online and in the physical world.
Keep Tabs on Your Apps: best practices for device applications
Most connected devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved. These apps may be gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense and only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
Update Privacy Settings Want to view or change your privacy/security settings, but don’t know where to find them? Use the direct links shared on NCSA’s manage your privacy tool to update your privacy settings on popular devices and online services.
Resources to help you Own IT.
- CISA has a created an online guide to National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, with a downloadable toolkit, tip sheets, graphics and a trivia game
- Cofense, an NCSA Board Member Company, has created a kit to keep employees engaged in the fight against phishing attacks. Download the presentations, posters, banners and more
- We’re all a little guilty of oversharing on social media. Take a look at Habitu8’s social media privacy video and get ready to laugh and learn
- Infosec, an NCSA Board Member Company, is making National Cybersecurity Awareness Month for cybersecurity educators easy! Their fun, relatable toolkit includes posters, infographics and articles!