October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. NCSAM, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), is a national public awareness campaign to encourage everyone to protect their computers and our nation’s critical cyber infrastructure.
Fedhealth is proud to be an NCSAM Champion and we are encouraging everyone to learn more about NCSAM since cybersecurity is our shared responsibility. That means everyone has the potential to make a difference and educate others.
Whether you use one computer, a smartphone or a massive network, it is critical to keep systems protected from viruses and attacks.
- Make sure computers and all wireless devices have current anti-virus and anti-spyware software and firewalls .. and schedule them to scan daily or weekly. Also set virus patterns, operating systems and browsers to update automatically. Encourage employees to protect their personal home devices too.
- Set security preferences as high as possible on Internet browsers and anti-virus packages.
- Be aware some flash drives may have trojans or viruses, or be used to copy sensitive data off secure systems, so consider limiting access to critical files and/or systems.
- Although it is best to not open emails or attachments from unknown sources, that’s not feasible in the business world. But implement precautionary procedures like having employees save attached files into a temp directory and scan them before opening.
- Discourage accessing financial institutions from mobile devices using apps or email links. Instead, visit banking and credit card sites directly using a browser window.
- Be aware there are lots of “scareware” scams online! Do NOT download or click on a screen that says it found “X number of viruses or spyware on your system” suggesting you download their package — it will most likely be a virus.
- Use long passwords (using both numbers and letters [and special characters if possible]), change them often, and don’t share them with others.
- Backup data often and keep a daily or weekly backup off-site.
- Make sure someone knows how to download patches or fixes in case a computer or system gets infected. And have a backup plan in case that person (or team) is not available.
- If your business is hacked, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov
- Stay current on cyber threats by joining DHS’s US Computer Emergency Readiness Team www.us-cert.gov and visit NCSA’s www.staysafeonline.org
NCSA has many tools and materials available online for…
- Consumers / Home Users (tools to protect home computers, wireless devices & kids)
- Businesses, organizations & agencies (tools to protect your workplace, employees and customers)
- K-12 Administrators and Educators (tips for staff, lessons & teaching materials, etc)
- College Administrators (tools to share with college staff and students)