Did you know that more than one-third of U.S. consumers have experienced a computer virus, hacking incident or other cyber attack in the last year? This startling fact came from a September 2016 cyber risk research survey by HSB. To ensure that every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are co-leading the 13th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) this month. Your BBB® joins more than 400 universities, colleges, businesses, government agencies and associations to promote this month.
Each week this month has a different focus. The focus of this week, Week 1, is “STOP. THINK. CONNECT: The Basic Steps to Online Safety and Security.” According to NCSA’s website, StaySafeOnline.org, in today’s interconnected world, practicing good cybersecurity is critical. It is important for us to learn to stay safer by “preventing and responding to identity theft and scams, ensuring that home networks are secure, managing the security of mobile devices and teaching children to use the Internet safely, securely and responsibly.”
In conjunction with this month, the NCSA is promoting its Lock Down Your Login campaign which is designed to “increase consumer awareness of our individual and collective roles in cybersecurity.” According to the Lock Down Your Login website, “72 percent of Americans believe their accounts are secure with only usernames and passwords, yet every two seconds there is another victim of identity fraud. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to keep your accounts secure.” To keep your accounts secure, cyber experts recommend strong authentication, sometimes called multi-factor or two-factor authentication or login approval. To learn more about multi-factor authentication, here is a YouTube video from the Lock Down Your Login campaign.
There are many resources available on all aspects of internet safety from tips and advice sheets to videos to quizzes and games on the NCSA, NCSAM, and DHS websites. For a list of free security check-ups and tools, go to https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/free-security-check-ups/.
Parents interested in keeping their children safe online, may find the following resources helpful:
The National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2016 Media Backgrounder has a section called “Parent and Teens – Bridging the Digital Disconnect”
TeenSafe.com has an article for parents called “Find Hidden Apps Your Teen Doesn’t Want You Seeing”
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