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16 Safety Tips for National Cyber Security Awareness Month

cybersecurity-safety-tipsBy Dr. Karen Paullet
Faculty Member, School of STEM at American Public University

We all need to actively work to protect our privacy and information online. Over 600,000 Facebook accounts alone are compromised EVERY DAY. For a greater sense of the scale of cyber security issues, go to map.ipviking.com to see a real-time map of cyberattacks. This demonstrates a reason to keep our devices secure. As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it’s vital for us to continuously secure our information.

Here are safety tips that you should follow regularly to avoid being the next victim:

  1. Lock your mobile device with a PIN number or password.
  1. Change your password to a passphrase. Simply use an entire sentence as your password.
  1. Don’t overshare information on social media. It can lead to crimes such as cyberbullying and identity theft.
  1. Install antivirus software on your laptops, computers, and mobile devices.
  1. Back up data on your computers and mobile devices on a regular basis.
  1. When using your mobile device, always log out of accounts such as banking and shopping sites instead of just closing the browser.
  1. Turn off Wi-Fi, location services, and Bluetooth on your mobile device when not in use.
  1. Avoid texting or emailing personal information.
  1. Don’t click on links or attachments in unsolicited emails and text messages.
  1. Only install apps from trusted sources and delete all apps that are no longer being used.
  1. Set up a Google Alert (google.com/alerts) for your name to see if you are appearing in any news feeds.
  1. Close an active pop-up window without clicking to avoid a drive-by download by using [Ctrl+W].
  1. Approximately 91% of advanced cyberattacks begin with emails. Enable email scanning by your antivirus provider.
  1. Have you ever opened up the Windows Add/Remove program app and are just utterly overwhelmed? Quickly locate and remove unwanted programs including adware, toolbars, bloatware, crapware, and other junk at shouldiremoveit.com.
  1. Curious about an online source? Check it out with free online networking tools at centralops.net.
  1. Use phonescoop.com to look up specs on mobile devices. Phone Scoop is a free service provided by Phone Factor, LLC, a Pennsylvania, USA limited-liability company specializing in information about mobile phones.

Check for more information and additional tips on http://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month.

About the Author

Dr. Karen Paullet received her B.S. in Information Systems, her M.S. in Communications and Information Systems and her DSc in Information Systems and Communications from Robert Morris University. Her dissertation was An Exploratory Study of Cyberstalking; Students and Law Enforcement in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. She received an award for Academic Excellence and Learning from Robert Morris University upon completion of the doctorate.


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