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Scary things happen in October, beware of your cyber security

Release #121018-1 posted on Oct 18, 2012
October is designated as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). During NCSAM 2012, both public and private sector organizations are highlighting the importance of protecting against cyber crime. Photo by Bob Fehringer, USTRANSCOM/PA

October is designated as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). During NCSAM 2012, both public and private sector organizations are highlighting the importance of protecting against cyber crime. Photo by Bob Fehringer, USTRANSCOM/PA

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“The threat is real,” says Mr. Rory Kinney, U.S. Transportation Command deputy director Command, Control, Communication and Computer Systems directorate. “If we don’t remain vigilant with our own personal and professional security posture, security breaches can occur.”

“Cyber criminals are running increasingly more sophisticated scams and schemes, and if we aren’t careful, they will exploit weaknesses in our security to get what they want as they did in my case,” explains Mr. Kinney, referring to his recent experience with personal identity theft.

Mr. Kinney said that his experience, along with countless other experiences like his, and the possibility that a cyber attack could be used as a major attack against the United States are among many reasons President Obama has designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).

During NCSAM 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its partners from the public and private sector are highlighting the importance of protecting against cyber crime. DHS has adopted “Stop. Think. Connect” as the motto for this year’s campaign, which asks users to consider their actions and remember that what they do online may affect others.

Commit to practicing good cyber security habits by taking a few basic steps to be more secure:

-Lock down privacy, access, searching, and sharing settings on social networking sites.

-Disable features that automatically broadcast your location or tag a photo with a current location.

-Do not reveal mission-related information, such as your unit, deployment, activities, or operations tempo, and request that family members do the same.

-Be wary of accepting invites from names you either vaguely know or don’t know at all.

-Limit the personal information you post online, and if possible, do not post your full name, birth date, school information or work history.

-Do not tag identifiable pictures of yourself online and if others have posted pictures of you, un-tag yourself.

-Make sure to constantly check your privacy settings; some sites change many of their privacy features regularly.

--USTRANSCOM--

COMMENTS
"There are too many people who think that it "can't happen to me." It can. Also, the fact that the younger generation is growing up not understanding the importance of privacy (thanks, primarily, to social networks like Facebook), or not caring about their own privacy, we need to impress upon younger people what dire circumstances could be in their future if they do not become more understanding of the importance of privacy and security; not just in cyberspace, but in real life."
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