Entries in column (3)
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month - last two weeks focus on business and school security
By Kristin Judge
This October is the ninth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The Department of Homeland Security, National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) work in partnership with public and private sector partners during October to send the message of Internet safety and responsibility to residents and businesses across the country.
Each week of October will have a theme with messaging and events to coincide. Everyone can do something to help share in the activities. Last week we learned about the STOP.THINK.CONNECT. Campaign and Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity.
The theme for Week Three is Online Safety for Business/Industry and Week Four is K-Life and Digital Literacy.
Our businesses are under attack. It is clear by the headlines every day how many companies are suffering online attacks on their networks and theft of their intellectual property. Fortunately, many large corporations are engaged in the solutions too. I have the privilege of working with some of the National Cyber Security Alliance board members companies. Just think how many people will be reached with the Keep a Clean Machine message when AT&T includes educational materials (English and Spanish) in customer billing information this October.
(Kristin Judge via AnnArbor.com)
Protecting our family at home is serious business. Personally, my family has a full plan in place to keep us safe in the case of a house fire. We have a place to meet (the mailbox), a portable ladder in the closet on the second floor, smoke detectors with batteries that are changed every New Year, and a lightning rod in our side yard.
Many Americans are probably as prepared as our family in this case. Our children have also been taught the “Stop, Drop and Roll” routine in school.
In the 21st century, families need an online safety plan in place to protect their family from becoming victims. Just consider how safe we will be as a community when the messages for online safety are as commonplace in our lives as the messages around fire safety.
Putting an online safety plan in place can be a great opportunity to have dialogue with your family about communication, cyber bullying, privacy issues and other topics
Here are some suggestions that may work for your family:
- Determine a central location for your computer so you can monitor your children’s activities online. Use parental control settings to block access to inappropriate sites when needed.
- Set parameters for acceptable online behavior and expectations. Clearly explain the rules and expectations regarding online behavior. Include issues such as cyber bullying, keeping personal information private (not posting it online), and treating people met online as the strangers that they are.
- Develop a monitoring strategy. How will you assure your family complies with your “Acceptable Use Policy?” You may choose to monitor your family’s online activities and let them know their activity is being monitored.
(Kristin Judge via AnnArbor.com)
I love my mother. She is so thoughtful and always wants to share fun, inspirational, and educational emails with me after she receives them from one of her friends.
If someone in your life is constantly sending those forwarded emails with 100 people listed in the body of the email and a cute picture of a cat doing something hilarious, it may be time to have a chat. Those emails can be from well-intentioned people who truly are just sharing a cute photo, but the chance of the email having an infected link or attachment is high.
Phishing is a term that refers to attempts by individuals or groups to solicit personal information from unsuspecting users by employing social engineering techniques. The bad guys are getting good at making these phishing attempts look like the real thing.
Phishing attacks are on the rise, and a person with bad intentions can easily purchase kits online to teach them the tricks needed to perpetrate these attacks. In the RSA 2012 report, "A Year in Phishing"some startling numbers are reported:
- In 2011, approximately one in 300 emails was “deemed to contain elements pointing to phishing”
- An average phishing attack yields the attacker $4,500 in stolen funds
- Approximately 86 percent of the U.S. banking sector brands were targeted with phishing scams in 2011.