Stop. Think. Connect. It's Cyber Safety Month!
In addition to brightly colored leaves, pumpkin milkshakes, and brisk evenings, October is host to numerous month-long observances, one of which is the National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Cyber security encompasses the actions taken to protect computers and computer systems (e.g. the Internet) against unauthorized access, attack, change, destruction, etc. No one action can make your computing experience secure; the best protection is Defense In Layers. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville provides environmental defenses such as firewalls, spam filters, and anti-virus software for campus equipment, but each of us can add additional layers to those cyber defenses through good computing practices (i.e. not opening suspicious e-mails) and having a healthy dose of paranoia in what we disclose online and what we store on our computers, such as social security numbers, addresses, banking information, and other information that can potentially be used to compromise your identity or safety.
A message from the global cyber security awareness campaign, StopThinkConnect.org:
When you cross the street, you look both ways to make sure it’s safe. Staying safe on the Internet is similar. If you take security and safety precautions and understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors online, you can safely enjoy the benefits of the Internet. Keep this simple mantra in mind: Stop. Think. Connect.
Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems. These resources can help:
Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety or the safety of your family, friends, or employer!
Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer!