Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.

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    Bill Howard
    Manager of IT Services

    October was National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCASM). NCSAM was formed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Alliance in 2004, and October marked the 16th year of its observance. NCSAM was formed as a collaborative effort to ensure every American has access to resources to stay safe and secure online. This year’s theme is “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” and the focus is on personal accountability.

    It has been long said that “No one takes care of Number 1 like Number 1.” This statement holds true whether you are referring to your physical health and wellbeing, or your personal data. You are your own best defense when it comes to taking care of yourself, your devices and your data.

    Cybercriminals study and attack end users through various phishing scams. They learned that people are much more vulnerable than the systems they use. They have found it is much easier to lure a person to give up their information than to obtain the skills required to break into properly secured technology.

    Below are some direct excerpts from the Department of Homeland Security’s 2019 Toolkit, urging every one of us to take responsibility for ourselves.

    Own IT – Understand Your Digital Profile

    Internet-based devices are present in every aspect of our lives: at home, school, work, and on the go. Constant connection provides opportunities for potential cybersecurity threats that can compromise your most important personal information. Understand the devices and applications you use every day to help keep you and your information safe and secure.

    Secure IT – Secure Your Digital Profile

    Cybercriminals are very good at getting personal information from unsuspecting victims, and the methods are getting more sophisticated as technology evolves. Protect against cyber threats by learning about security features available on the equipment and software you use. Apply additional layers of security to your devices—like multi-factor authentication—to better protect your personal information.

    Protect IT – Maintain Your Digital Profile

    Every click, share, send, and post you make creates a digital trail that can be exploited by cybercriminals. To protect yourself from becoming a victim, you must understand, secure, and maintain your digital profile. Be familiar with and routinely check privacy settings to help protect your privacy and limit Internet-enabled crimes. Don’t openly share or connect with fake or Bot friend accounts. Educate children about digital stranger danger.

    In order to protect yourself, I urge all computer users to keep systems and software up to date and use a good anti-virus program. These programs are not foolproof; however, and computer users themselves often help cybercriminals get through these safeguards.

    We wish for you to maintain a safe and secure computing environment that serves you well. Please contact us if you have any questions.