October 20, 2015

Cybersecurity: Are you safe?

Senior Airman James Hensley
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.¬†—¬†October is Cybersecurity awareness month when Airmen need to refresh themselves on safety tips for keeping their personal and work information safe.

“Cybersecurity awareness month is about getting the word out to Airmen making them aware of what they are putting out there,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Scheel, 56th Communications Squadron cybersecurity technician. “This should affect Airmen on base in that they should remember to be more situationally aware of themselves and their surroundings.”

There are many risks to personal information, especially when social media is concerned.
“Airmen should be aware of the risks out there which include phishing and spear phishing attempts,” Scheel said.

Phishing is usually an attempt to deceive you into thinking a legitimate organization is requesting information. Phishing attempts are sometimes targeted against specific groups or lists of individuals and are called spear phishing.

“Other risks include identity theft, malware and bot nets,” Scheel said. “Malware are viruses and bot nets are similar to viruses but can give someone access to remotely control your computer.”

These safety tips aren’t restricted to just the work place; they carry over to home use as well.

“Information that Airmen post online in social media isn’t always secure,” said Senior Airman Nicholas Burnett, 56th CS cybersecurity technician. “It’s important to check yourselves before posting online because generally the internet is not the safest place for your information. Make sure you’re taking steps to protect yourself.”

One way to help protect personal information is by securing home network. This can be done by putting a password and firewall on the router, keeping the machine clean, updating software, and backing up valuable information.

In this day and age as technology keeps improving, so too shall the risks that come with it, which is why staying on top of personal information is critical.

“Don’t expose yourself to something questionable,” Scheel said.

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