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Important Trends from National Cyber Security Awareness Month

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCASM). A partnership between the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established in 2004, NCASM helps consumers and businesses alike focus on the importance of cyber security and keeping up with current technology trends. We’ve provided a look into technology trends that will continue to become more prevalent and keep your family safe and up-to-date online.

Data Security Is Vital

A glance at the latest headlines will tell you that data protection is extremely important. The best thing you can do is keep a close watch on your personal data. Here are some simple steps to make sure you’re protected:

Lock Down Your Login:  Make sure your password is both strong and easy to remember by making it a phrase or a sentence. When you vary your passwords, you can protect more of your online accounts or logins.

Back Up Your Data:  Recent years have seen a trend of more important personal information and memorabilia (family photos, health records, etc.) moved online for storage. While this can save on space and prevent the risk of damage from elements such as water or fire, it is also a good idea to have an additional back up of those records. The NCASM website provides tips on how to back up your data on its website.

Technology Moves Fast

The speed of innovation in the technology industry can sometimes make it challenging for security efforts to keep up. To keep your security up-to-date; however, you don’t have to know all of the current trends. Just make sure you keep all of your connected devices updated with the latest versions to help patch security holes.

Another area where change happens quickly is on social media. In fact, many social media platforms are making strides in areas such as privacy, accountability, and reducing cyber bullying. Check out our recent post about how social media platforms are changing to reduce cyber bullying and what you can do to protect your privacy.  

Sophisticated Tools and Networks

Technology sometimes outpaces the security that protects it. There are many time-tried methods of keeping your networks safe. Check out our recent post for ways that you can set up your home Wi-Fi modem to secure your home Internet connection.

Another area with innovative new tools is parental control. If you have kids that use your home Internet, you can take steps to limit their exposure to certain content, reduce the number of hours they spend in front of the screen or simply keep an eye on what they do online. 

The More You Do Online

As it becomes more convenient to complete a variety of activities online (banking and shopping, to name a few), we also need an increased awareness of how to complete these everyday tasks securely.  

“When in Doubt, Throw it Out”:  One of the official recommendations from the NCASM and the
Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), this phrase refers to spam and phishing emails. If you’re not sure about an email’s sender, link, or something in it, just delete it. For more on phishing and how to avoid it, see our post.

If It Seems Too Good, It Probably Is:  Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have become a staple of holiday purchases. There will be plenty of great and legitimate deals for you to find this year. There are also some sites and deals that will be too good (and which you should avoid). For tools on how to avoid online shopping scams and to learn some online buying and selling safety tips, see our recent posts.

We could all use a little help when it comes to keeping up with trends in technology and cyber security. The good news is that tried and true tactics can still protect us against common threats. Share tips with your friends and colleagues as well- the safer your peers are, the safer you are as well.

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