October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of KnowBe4. The opinions expressed in this article are 100% my own.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), and is an excellent time to educate your friends, family, and coworkers about cyber security and its importance both at home and the workplace. Taking a few easy steps to keep your personal data more secure today can save you countless hours dealing with the aftermath of a security breech later on. How can you help?

Stop. Think. Connect.” is one part of the overall NCSAM campaign. The idea is to slow down overanxious browsing that can lead to a lapse in online security and ultimately put yourself, your family, and your company at greater risk. Take a moment to see if this method is currently a part of your regular routine, and educate others about the importance of checking forwarding links and learning about any current scams or threats that are in the wild. Here is a simple guide to go by:

  • Stop — Take a moment to research and consider the risks everyone faces when browsing the Web. Educate yourself on current threats and learn how to identify them before using the Internet.
  • Think — Before you click on a link, take a look at where it leads. Are you heading toward a potentially misleading or malicious site that isn’t what it claims to be? Sure, that link may appear to go to your Wells Fargo account, but are there any misspellings in the URL that might indicate it isn’t legit?
  • Connect — Browse and enjoy the Internet knowing that you’re using trusted sites and resources.

In addition to these steps, you can suggest to others the importance of proper security training, especially in jobs that rely on giving employees access to the Internet. Corporate email systems are hit every day by a seemingly endless barrage of phishing scams, and the difference between a secured network and a compromised one can depend on a single employee’s knowledge of what to look out for and avoid. This is one of the founding principles behind KnowBe4, a group of security experts that provides training to employees of small, medium, and large companies alike in order to give them the tools they need to identify and prevent data theft through malicious software and phishing scams. KnowBe4 offers training, testing, and follow-up training services for a multitude of different corporate and small business environments.

You can also do your part to help by taking a moment to educate your friends and loved ones about where to find information that can help them enjoy a safer experience on the Web. StaySafeOnline.org has a collection of helpful tip sheets for a variety of users that are easy to print out and distribute. These sheets provide essential safety tips that are easy to follow and understand.

You can find out more about National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) by visiting the official pages from the Department of Homeland Security and StaySafeOnline.org.

The success of National Cyber Security Awareness Month depends on everyone doing their part to make their friends, family, and coworkers more informed about the importance of safe usage practices. Cyber security is a shared responsibility, and it takes everyone doing their part to put a quick stop to potential threats as they begin to circulate. The faster we can identify and stop them from happening, the faster our community as a whole can enjoy a safer and richer browsing experience.

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.