MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Willmot
- October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is urging residents, businesses and other entities to do their part to help make the Internet safer and more secure.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, was created in 2004 to help increase awareness of online safety and security issues, and to help educate people about the best ways to protect their computers and other electronic devices.
“No individual, business or government entity is solely responsible for securing the Internet,” Hughes said. “Each of us has an important role to play in making cyberspace more secure for everyone. Practicing good online habits will benefit the entire digital community.”
Among the steps Internet users can take to stay safe online, Hughes said, are the following:
- Keep security software current to guard against viruses, malware and other online threats.
- Protect all devices that connect to the Internet, including smart phones, gaming systems and other web-enabled equipment.
- Make passwords more secure by combining uppercase and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols.
- Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you to verify your identity before you conduct business on that site.
- When banking and shopping, make sure the site is security enabled. Sites that have web addresses with https:// or “shttp://” take extra measures to help secure your information. Http:// is not secure.
- Limit the amount of personal information you post online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
- Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Keep in mind that public computers and public wireless access (Wi-Fi) are not secure.
- Before discarding your PC, be sure that all data has been erased or “wiped.”
- Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov or the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.onguardonline.gov/file-complaint.
- Take the National Cyber Security Pledge at https://msisac.cisecurity.org/cyber-pledge/.