The Month of October is the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). This is observed annually and focuses on raising awareness about Cyber security, providing the public with general knowledge and tools to help them keep safe when on the Internet.
Educating consumers on online safety, through awareness and sensitization campaigns, empowers them by making them aware of both the positive and negative potentials available online and measures to take in safeguarding themselves.
Security is not reserved to just one group alone; collectively we join forces, bringing our competence and knowledge to help build a safer and more inclusive Information Society.
This week we will focus on the following theme for Week 1:
• General Notices on online etiquettes and use
There are no smartphones devices or smart appliances that are entirely secure or “hack-proof,” though some are better than others. It is advisable that users adhere to these general security guidelines:
• Don’t open any e-mail links, even if you think the sender is familiar. Phishing scams can happen on any device and can lure you into clicking infected links or entering sensitive credentials on spoofed sites.
• Disable geo-tagging when posting online. Hackers can find out a lot of information, such as where you live and work and other sensitive details about you just by looking at the “exif” data embedded in mobile photos when GPS is enabled.
• For GPS, don’t set a “home” or “work” location on any of your navigation apps.
• Set up a remote-wipe feature on your phone. If your phone gets missing, you can delete all of the sensitive information from it immediately. Generally, additional features that locate and lock your device are usually in the same software.
• Go through all apps to see what information they are accessing - you might be surprised what you have agreed to when downloading the app.
• Keep your smart appliances and devices disconnected from the internet when not in use.
• When your phone is connected to public Wi-Fi, avoid visiting websites that contain sensitive or financial information, like your bank or credit card’s website.
• Back it Up; protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.
• Lock your device with a password. A lost or stolen device that is not password protected allows anyone to access email and all other critical accounts connected to your mobile device.
• Only make online transactions on secure sites that have HTTPS.
• Use cloud storage that’s encrypted for your personal information, and enable two factor authentication for all critical accounts such as iCloud, PayPal and even Facebook and Twitter.
• Do not “Root” your Android or “Jailbreak” your iPhone. This is a process that gives you complete access of your device, but in doing so, removes many of the safeguards that the manufacturers have put in place.
• Always verify news before sharing on social media.
• Share with Care; think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it might affect you and others now and in the future.
Help protect yourself and others by sharing and following these tips - remember, users who are lazy with their mobile device security become easy targets for hackers and other cyber criminals.