National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). It was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) “to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.” NCSAM recognizes the collective effort needed to stop cyber intrusions and online thefts and scams. Now in its 16th year, NCSAM has grown across our Nation and continues to build momentum and impact under the co-leadership of NCSA and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA). This year’s message, “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.”, focuses on citizen privacy, consumer devices, and e-commerce security.

For more on NCSAM and Cyber Safety Tips, see below and follow this link.

FBI Cyber Safety Tips

All computer users should 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. To avoid inadvertently downloading malicious code that can harm your network or giving a criminal money or valuable information, the FBI recommends these tips:

  • Examine the email address and URLs in all correspondence. Scammers often mimic a legitimate site or email address by using a slight variation in spelling.>
  • If an unsolicited text message or email asks you to update, check, or verify your account information, do not follow the link provided in the message itself or call the phone numbers provided in the message. Go to the company’s website to log into your account or call the phone number listed on the official website to see if something does in fact need your attention.
  • Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
  • Carefully scrutinize all electronic requests for a payment or transfer of funds.
  • Be extra suspicious of any message that urges immediate action.
  • Confirm requests for wire transfers or payment in person or over the phone as part of a two-factor authentication process. Do not verify these requests using the phone number listed in the request for payment.