October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
According to the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, no one is immune from a cyberattack.
“While the state is proactive in helping keep state data secure, cybersecurity protection is the responsibility of all North Carolina residents,” said Eric Boyette, state chief information officer and secretary of the NCDIT. “Education and awareness are the best ways to help avoid becoming a victim.”
In a new initiative, the NCDIT urges users to “own it, secure it and protect it.”
Own It: Make sure the information you share online and give out is secure. Routinely check privacy settings and avoid using free or open Wi-Fi networks.
Secure It: Use strong, unique passwords and multi-factor authentication when possible. Learn the security features on all your devices and use them well.
Protect It: Practice good “cyber hygiene” habits at home and at work by updating to the latest security software, web browsers and operating systems.
The NCDIT also urges people to be suspicious of unsolicited emails and reach out by phone or in person instead if the sender or email raises red flags. This is especially important when involving money or sensitive information.
Users should also pay attention to website URLs to identify malicious websites. Don’t click on links that look suspicious on websites or in emails.
Finally, protect your personal information. Don’t send social security numbers or passwords in an email or while online.
The National Cyber Security Alliance has more tips.