Do Your Part. Be CyberSmart – October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Governor Herbert has declared October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Utah.
The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. In these tech-fueled times, our homes, societal well-being, economic prosperity, and nation’s security are impacted by the internet.
The overarching theme for Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
The theme empowers individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, with a particular emphasis on the key message for 2020: “If you connect it, protect it.”
If everyone does their part – implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences, or training employees – our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.
Internet-connected devices are helping homeowners increase efficiency, reduce costs, conserve energy and a whole host of other benefits. However, with all of these benefits come risks to privacy and security.
NCSA recommends consumers connect with caution, and take steps to secure these devices.
IOT Stands for “Internet of Things”
Consumer IoT refers to the billions of personal devices, such as home appliances, smartphones, wearable technologies, toys, etc. that are connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data.
Take Action Tips
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Before purchasing a new smart device, do your research. Check out user reviews on the product, look it up to see if there have been any security/privacy concerns, and understand what security features the device has, or doesn’t have.
CHANGE DEFAULT USERNAMES AND PASSWORDS
Many IoT devices come with default passwords.
Create long and unique passphrases for all accounts and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible. MFA will fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics or a unique one-time code sent to your phone or mobile device.
PUT YOUR IOT DEVICES ON A GUEST NETWORK
Why? Because if a smart device’s security is compromised, it won’t grant an attacker access to your primary devices, such as laptops.