October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month when Airmen need to refresh themselves on safety tips for keeping personal and work information safe.
“Cybersecurity Awareness Month is about getting the word out to Airmen reminding them to be aware of what they are putting out there,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Scheel, 56th Communications Squadron cybersecurity technician. “Airmen on base should remember to be situationally aware of their surroundings.”
There are dangers to personal information, especially where 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. When phishing attempts are targeted against specific groups or lists of individuals, they 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 with the intention of getting access to remotely control your computer.”
These safety concerns 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 yourself before posting online because generally the Internet is not the safest place for personal information. Make sure you’re taking steps to protect yourself.”
One way to help protect personal information is by securing a 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 continues to improve, so too do the risks that come with it, which is why staying on top of personal information is critical.
To learn how to be cyber secure and create a cyber-secure home, see Page 16.