Stay Cyber Safe: Tips and Tricks for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

By Carolyn Just, NTCA PR Manager

Every October Americans celebrate the joys of Fall: autumn leaves, pumpkin patches, a full month of hockey, baseball, football, and of course National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security 15 years ago to make the internet safer and more secure for everyone. In support of ongoing efforts to educate members about cybersecurity best practices, NTCA has committed to participate in the program as a champion organization dedicated to promoting a safer, more trusted internet.

As a member of this program, NTCA will share important information aimed at keeping consumers safe from cyberthreats across our social media channels (Twitter and Facebook) and via our #RuralIsCool newsletter. This is a coordinated effort with the hundreds of other Champion organizations promoting the NCSAM theme: “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” using the hashtags #BeCyberSmart and #CyberAware in online postings. The goal is to encourage personal accountability and most importantly proactive behavior in security and privacy and to draw attention to careers in cybersecurity. Each component of the theme addresses key tips on how to stay cyber safe, which are outlined below. 

Own IT.

•    Never Click and Tell: staying safe on social media
•    Update Privacy Settings
•    Keep Tabs on Your Apps: best practices for device applications

Secure IT.

•    Shake Up Your Passphrase Protocol: create strong, unique passphrases
•    Double Your Login Protection: turn on multi-factor authentication
•    Shop Safe Online 
•    Play Hard to Get with Strangers: how to spot and avoid phish

Protect IT.

•    If You Connect, You Must Protect: updating to the latest security software, web browser and operating systems
•    Stay Protected While Connected: Wi-Fi safety
•    If You Collect It, Protect It: keeping customer/consumer data and information safe

As a security advocate committed to improving my own personal cyber habits, I hope that you will join us in participating on social media (following the campaign’s tips of course) and think about adopting new behaviors that will keep you, your customers and the larger internet community safe from cyberthreats. Join in on social using #BeCyberSmart.