October is National Cyber Security Month, and Sarpy County is joining the nationwide effort take make sure you have the resources you need to stay safe and secure. All month long , the Sarpy County Information Systems Department will be providing tips and information to make you #CyberAware and to #BeCyberSmart.
Cyber security is everyone’s responsibility, so make sure you “Own IT. Protect IT. Security IT.”
Shake up your password protocol
According to National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Get creative and customize your standard password for different sites, which can prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to these accounts and protect you in the event of a breach. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts.
For more password tips, check out the Creating a Password Tip Sheet.
Play hard to get with strangers
Cybercriminals use phishing tactics, hoping to fool their victims. If you’re unsure who an email is from – even if the details appear accurate – or if the email looks “phishy,” do not respond and do not click on any links or attachments found in that email. When available use the “junk” or “block” option to no longer receive messages from a particular sender.
Learn more about phishing attacks and ways to avoid them: https://www.sarpy.com/sites/default/files/Phishing.pdf
Never click and tell
Limit what information you post on social media — from personal addresses to where you like to grab coffee. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly random details are all criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones, and your physical belongings — online and in the physical world.
Keep Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private, as well as specific information about yourself, such as your full name, address, birthday, and even vacation plans. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are – and where you aren’t – at any given time.
Read the Social Media Cybersecurity Tip Sheet for more information.
Stay protected while connected
Before youconnect to any public wireless hotspot – like at an airport, hotel, or café – be sure to confirm thename of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate. If you do use an unsecured public access point, practice good Internet hygiene by avoiding sensitive activities (e.g., banking) that require passwords or credit cards. Your personal hotspot is often a safer alternative to free Wi-Fi. Only use sites that begin with “https://” when shopping or banking online.
Keep tabs on your apps
Most connected appliances, toys and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved, gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
If you connect, you must protect
Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device or other network devices, the best defense against viruses and malware is to update to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. Sign up for automatic updates, if you can, and protect your devices with antivirus software. Read the Phishing Tip Sheet for more information.