If You Connect It. Protect It.

Held every October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness regarding the importance of cybersecurity while also ensuring that all Americans have the resources they need to stay safe and secure online.

This year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month has been broken into four focus areas: If You Connect It, Protect It, Securing Devices at Home and Work, Common Phishing Attacks in Banking and Staying Protected While Connected.

If You Connect It, Protect It.

The focus of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s first week is “If you Connect It, Protect It.” This emphasizes the potential vulnerability of all Internet-connected devices.

Cybersecurity starts with YOU and it is everyone’s responsibility. There are currently an estimated 4.8 billion Internet users—over 62% of the world's population! This number is only growing, making the need to “Protect It” more important than ever.

  • Be up to date: Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, or other network device, the best defense is to continuously update to the latest security software, web browser and operating systems. If you have the option to enable automatic updates to defend against the latest risks, it is recommended that you do so.
  • Keep tabs on your apps: Many connected appliances, toys and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with apps using default permissions that you never realized you approved. Check your app permissions and learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
  • Shake up your Password Protocol: Change your device’s factory security settings from the default password. This is one of the most important steps to take in the protection of your devices. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible.
  • Report any suspicious activity: Just like reporting suspicious activity to Busey’s IT Security team, report any suspicious activity on social media to their respective contacts.

Stay tuned throughout the month of October for more cybersecurity tips!
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