It’s difficult to imagine a life without technology. Without our phones, tablets, and laptops it’d be more difficult to stay connected with friends and family, and less convenient to research and shop for items we want to purchase. As a National Cyber Security Awareness Month Champion, Security Innovation is taking the month of October to help promote online safety and i ncrease security awareness to everyone across the globe. As we increase our use of technology in everyday situations, we encourage everyone to start thinking about common security threats to become a better online citizen:

  1. Be aware of what information shared on social media. A potential hacker can learn a lot about you from social media by simply looking at your profiles for information. Information such as your name, location, current employer, email, and hobbies is readily available for hackers to use. Make sure to keep your social media accounts secure, be aware of the information you share, and make sure your profiles are only viewable to those you trust.
  2. Start thinking about mobile security. There has been an increase in mobile attacks lately, and there’s a good reason for it. Hackers are turning to mobile phones because they often lack the security found on laptops and other devices. Without password protecting your device, anyone can pick up your phone and start looking through it. With more people watching videos and playing games, it’s not unlikely to find malware hidden within a downloaded app. As employees start using personal phones for work, hackers can easily access private company information as well. Our advice: Treat your phone like a laptop. Lock your main screen, be careful of what you download, limit sensitive work information that can be accessed through your phone, and have a plan if something does go wrong.
  3. Phishing attacks are on the rise. Hackers are getting smart and they’re manipulating emails to the point it’s difficult to tell the difference between what’s fake and real. Always avoid emails from people you don’t know. Even if the name is familiar, if the request seems odd check with the sender before you proceed. Many security breaches start with a phishing attack and an employee clicking on a malicious link in an email. Learning how to spot a phishing attempt can help stop a cyberattack before it happens.
  4. If it connects to the internet, it’s a target. As society continues to rely on technology, hackers are given more ways to attack. From connected cars to WiFi programmable thermostats, if it connects to the internet a hacker can find a way in. Because Internet of Things (IoT) is evolving rapidly, the technology within these devices often lacks substantial security. With new devices comes new threats, so don’t underestimate the security risks associated with IoT.
  5. Technology is only as useful as the person using it. Endpoint security may help stop a number of threats, but nothing is as valuable as human awareness. Behind every piece of technology is a human who uses it. All it takes is one wrong move to become the next victim of a cyberattack. While it’s important to have proper endpoint security in place, don’t rely on it as the total solution for security. Educate yourself (and your employees) on common security threats and become more aware of the technology being used around you.

We challenge everyone this October to practice better online safety both at work and at home. Join us as we celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month to learn more about cybersecurity and how you can protect yourself online. Sign up for alerts and check back on our official NCSAM landing page for updates every week. Share your tips and stories with us on Twitter (@SecInnovation) using the hashtag #CyberAware.