Throughout the month of October, Johnson Controls, through the Cyber Protection Program for security products, is supporting the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) mission to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, and individual cyber posture. NCSAM is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, together with the National Cyber Security Alliance and other public and private partners.
Each week the NCSAM will highlight a different theme – beginning with Simple Steps to Online Safety. In line with this, the following are some practical tips for simple things everyone can do protect themselves online.
While some of this is likely familiar to you, it’s always worth refreshing.
Practice good password hygiene
All of your online accounts – including your work email, online shopping, and social media accounts – contain more personal data than you may think. It’s worth a small amount of effort to help keep them secure.
- Make sure your passwords are long and strong. Length is more important than complexity, long passphrases are better than short and complicated passwords. Even better, use a password manager to generate a strong password and store them securely.
- Use a unique password for each account; and change a password if you even think it’s been compromised.
- Use long and complex answers to forgot password questions and memorize them or store them in a password manager.
- Never share your username or password. Anyone who needs access to the system should have their own account details.
Lock your devices
- Always keep your mobile device and workstation locked. Even better, have an automatic lock go into effect after a couple of minutes of inactivity. You never know who is around the corner, waiting to steal, destroy or upload malware.
Surf and click cautiously
Both at home and in the office, you need to be wary of emails, websites and associated links that may contain malicious content that can compromise your system.
- Only open emails or attachments from people you know. Hackers will also use know contacts for phishing, so when in doubt call the person to confirm the email is from them.
- When in doubt, throw it out, even if you know the source. If it’s something you think may be legitimate, then go to the website directly rather than clicking on the link. Also keep in mind that if you receive an email from a familiar source asking for personal details, especially details they should already have, it may be a phishing ploy.
Bottom line, stay aware to stay cyber-safe
As security professionals, we all share a joint responsibility to protect devices, systems and networks, and help others do the same.
We recommend sharing these tips with your employees and colleagues, your customers – and your friends and family too.
Next week we’ll continue our National Cyber Security Awareness Month initiative, with a post focusing on cybersecurity in the workplace.
In the meantime, make sure to visit the Cyber Protection Program for security products website for product advisories and resources on matters related to your cybersecurity.