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Safety tips for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Update | Tuesday, October 19, 2021

“Do your part. #BeCyberSmart” is the theme for this year’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), which is recognized each October. As part of the recognition, Columbus State joins the Department of Homeland Security to raise awareness of cybersecurity. Awareness is a critical responsibility for all College employees.

Information Security Officer Ben Dalton has simple NCSAM safety tips to follow:

How You Can Better Protect Yourself Online

Be cyber smart
The Internet touches almost all aspects of our daily lives. We can shop, bank, connect with family and friends, and handle our medical records all online. These activities require you to provide personally identifiable information (PII) such as your name, date of birth, account numbers, passwords, and location information. #BeCyberSmart when sharing personal information online to reduce the risk of becoming the victim of a cybercrime.

‘Phight’ the phish!
Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to infect your machine with malware and viruses to collect personal and financial information. Cybercriminals attempt to lure users into clicking on a link or opening an attachment that infects their computers, creating vulnerabilities for criminals to use to attack. Phishing emails may appear to come from a legitimate financial institution, e-commerce site, government agency, or other business or individual. However, the email may also request personal information such as account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. Think twice before you click on email links or open attachments.

Explore, experience, share
Explore career opportunities available in cybersecurity. Whether you’re a student, an adult looking for a career change, or an industry veteran, there is always something exciting for everyone in the cybersecurity space.

Explore the Information Security Office’s website to learn more about cybersecurity best practices and or how to stay safe online.

Visit Columbus States Cybersecurity Center to learn about ways of protecting information and how the college is training the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Learn and share about Columbus State’s in-demand Cybersecurity certificates programs and how they are preparing future cybersecurity professionals. Click here.

Cybersecurity first
Much of your personal information is stored either on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or possibly on someone else’s system. Therefore, knowing how to protect the information you have stored is of high importance not just for an individual but also for an organization.

Simple Cybersecurity Tips

  • Secure your networks
    Wireless routers are a way for cybercriminals to access online devices.  Ensure you use a firewall and change default passwords.
  • Stay up to date
    Keep software updated to the latest versions and set security software to run regular scans.
  • If you connect it, protect it
    One proven defense against intrusion is updating to the latest virus protection software.
  • Double your login protection
    Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you.
  • If it looks suspicious, report it!
    Protect yourself from phishing.  Be aware of requests for gift cards and or asking if you are available for a quick task. If you see EXTERNAL in the email subject line, use caution.

If you get a suspicious or phishing email, report it. Email or call the IT Support Center at 614-287-5050.


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