Did you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month? This month gives us an opportunity to increase awareness about the need to maintain our electronic devices, as well as to learn how to spot malicious email and recent scams. To recognize this month, we wanted to provide you with the top three takeaways in regards to cyber security.
#1 – Maintain Your Devices
Many of us rely on mobile devices for day to day activities. In order to protect the sensitive information which they process, it’s important to maintain these devices. We also can’t forget about our PC which may not be used as frequently. A few basic maintenance tips include:
- Make sure your Anti-Virus software is current.
- Enable auto updates and apply patches to all software on your PC on a frequent basis.
- Run only vendor supported versions of software and Operating System.
- Enable screen locking and use strong, unique passwords not used in other locations.
- Enable a firewall when possible on your PC and on your DSL/Cable modem.
- Make sure you change the password on your DSL/Cable modem and configure it to be administered only from your network while directly attached with a network cable.
#2 – Protect Your Accounts
Many of us utilize email and social media to communicate with our customers, family and friends. Did you know that many of these accounts offer you additional security protection?
During Cyber Security Awareness Month, I encourage you to learn more about enabling security features in order to protect your accounts. Did you know you can enable alerting for account related transactions within online banking? This is a simple, but effective way to detect unauthorized activity associated with your account.
When using third party websites it is important to understand their security features. Search for the term security in the Help section on the website to learn about security features such as the ability to regain access to your account if a malicious individual has gained access and reset your password. Examples of security features include:
- Receiving a text containing a code sent to your phone each time you are attempting to access your account.
- Receiving a text when a new device attempts to access your account.
#3 – Communicate With Your Bank
If you identify that a device which is used to access online banking or other sensitive information, has been compromised, please let us know immediately by contacting us at (800) 359-8092, so that we can enhance fraud monitoring on your account.
While these three takeaways are important, they are just a small part of cyber security awareness. If you are interested in learning more, there are many educational resources that contain a broad array of tips, including:
- National Cyber Security Alliance: https://staysafeonline.org
- National Cyber Security Alliance and Anti-Phishing Work Group: https://stopthinkconnect.org
Information Security Officer, Jesse Van Nevel, has an extensive background in computer and electronic security with more than 16 years of experience. Jesse is a member of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and InfraGard. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
In his spare time, Jesse enjoys spending time with family, scuba diving, and camping.