Governments and industries are coming together to spread awareness about the importance of cybersecurity during October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) as the holiday season approaches.
During the holiday season hackers are actively roaming the internet to steal private credit card information.
“Own IT (information technology). Secure IT. Protect IT,” are the three steps from Homeland Security. This message focuses on key areas including citizen privacy, consumer devices, and e-commerce security.
In 2019, NCSAM is emphasizing personal responsibility when searching the web and taking proactive steps to increasing cybersecurity at the workplace and home.
The guidelines to Own IT are: stay safe on social media, update privacy settings on mobile devices/computers, and to keep tabs on apps that are used on a daily basis.
The Secure IT has several aspects. Such as making sure to create passwords that a hacker will not be able to guess, doubling login protection by turning on multi-factor authentication, and using safe websites when shopping online. Reading reviews and comments from previous shoppers will help indicate if the website is trustworthy or not.
Protect IT instructs internet users to, update all security software on browsers, keep customer data and information safe, and when connecting to the internet be sure that it is safe and from the provider, not from someone’s hotspot.
People in the current generation, specifically Millennials and Generation Z, are not concerned with cybersecurity, while people of the older generations such as Generation X and even Boomers are sometimes not aware of what cybersecurity is.
Devin Yeager, 19, of Yardley said, “People in our generation do not really care about cybersecurity, at least right now they don’t. We don’t have a lot of money in our bank accounts and we don’t really think our information that is online is that valuable right now.”
In reality, the information that is put online is valuable. The stores that are on the frequently visited tab of our home page is valuable. Thinking that our information is not valuable is exactly what cyber hackers want.
People often feel they do not have the time to fill out forms to guarantee privacy of protection from hackers.
“People are faced with two options: privacy or convenience. People are generally more willing to give away their private information if it means it’ll save them a minute here or there,” said Justin Mitchell, 20, of Doylestown.
Next time when the terms and conditions icon pops up from Apple consider the things that are at risk.
NCSAM encourages everyone to take into consideration the three steps of owning it, securing it, and protecting it, not just this holiday season, but all year round.