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What does the Cyber Security Awareness Month Have to Empower You?

October 30, 2019 Ronnie Mize

We are almost at the end of the Cyber Security Awareness Month.

This year’s theme is “Own It, Secure It, Protect It.”

What does this mean exactly?

Internet-enabled crimes and cyber intrusions are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and preventing them requires each user of a connected device to be aware and on guard.

“It’s no longer enough to be on the lookout for something in your inbox that appears suspicious,” said FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Matt Gorham. “As criminals have grown savvier and their efforts more targeted, individuals and organizations need to scrutinize messages and requests that appear legitimate.”

Some of the most common and damaging Internet-enabled crimes begin with an employee clicking a link in an email that appears to be from a colleague, following the instructions in a message that looks like it came from a supervisor, or opening an account link or file that seems to be from a trusted source.

“These routine actions can be what exposes a computer or an entire network to a ransomware attack, data breach, or another crime,” said Gorham. “As we mark National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we hope to focus attention on the efforts required to safeguard individual computers and accounts and secure and protect critical data and infrastructure.”

Now in its 16th year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is hosted every October by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Multiple agencies and organizations, including the FBI, collaborate to raise awareness about cybersecurity and stress the collective effort needed to stop cyber intrusions and online thefts and scams.

“Today’s cyber threat is bigger than anyone government agency—frankly, bigger than the government itself,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a cybersecurity conference in March. “But I think no agency brings the same combination of scope and scale, experience, tools, and relationships that the FBI has.”

The FBI works in close coordination with the private sector as well as with state, local, and international partners to understand and anticipate cyber threats and pursue cybercriminals.

During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the FBI joins in asking every user of a connected device to Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT

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. The constant connection provides opportunities for innovation and modernization but also presents 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 data 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.

Thanks for reading and stay secure!