October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

With the recent high-profile cyber incidents including WannaCry, Petya ransomware attacks, HBO/Netflix hacks, and Equifax data breach, there is no better time to discuss cybercrime and security awareness.

Cybercrime impacts all of us and cyber criminals are only getting more sophisticated.  Nearly two-thirds of Americans have personally affected by cybercrime, whether it’s hijacked email accounts, identity fraud, or fraudulent credit card charges.  Don’t be a victim- start protecting yourself and your company today with these top tips from Homeland Security.

Top Tips for Internet Security at Work

1 Defend your computer

  • Strengthen your computer’s defenses. Keep web browsers and software current with automatic updating.  Install legitimate antivirus and antispyware software and never turn off your firewall.
  • Don’t be tricked into downloading malicious software.  Take a moment to think before you click or open attachments.  If you’re unsure if the message is legitimate- even from a coworker- contact the sender using a different device or account.

2 Protect company data & financial assets

  • Don’t put confidential information in text, instant messages, or email.
  • Consider a dedicated computer not used for email or web browsing for payroll and ACH payments.
  • Use strong passwords with long phrases or sentences that have a mix of numbers, symbols, and capital/lowercase letters. Ex- R3dM@reH0rse$ky (RedMareHorseSky)
  • Inform your IT personnel immediately if you suspect you’ve been hacked. The sooner they can catch it the better.

3 Guard company data when you’re on the go

  • Never make financial or other sensitive transactions over public wifi networks.
  • Choose the most secure public wifi option even if you have to pay for it.
  • Confirm the exact spelling of the wireless network and web page you’re connecting to– look out for slight misspellings like www.micrsoft.com.
  • Encrypt all confidential data and always protect your devices with strong passwords in case they’re stolen.
  • Don’t put any unknown USB/flash drive into your computer


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