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BBB Trends: October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month: own it, secure it, protect it


By Sandra Guile
Better Business Bureau

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and National Cyber Security Alliance to ensure everyone has the resources they need to stay safe and secure online. This year’s theme is: Own It. Secure It. Protect It. #BeCyberSmart.

Own It.


Understand your digital profile. Internet-based digital devices are everywhere. Without realizing it, they’ve crept into almost every aspect of our personal and professional part of lives: home, school, work, wearables, and automobiles. This presents plenty of opportunities for cyber threats to compromise personal information. Having a healthy understanding of what’s being shared, how it’s stored and where the information is stored is a start to protecting your data. Limit the types of information posted on social media—from personal addresses, to where you like to grab a coffee. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly innocent details are all criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones and your physical belongings—online and in the physical world. 

Secure It.

Cybercriminals are very good at getting personal information from unsuspecting victims or people who think they cannot become a victim. The methods that are being used are becoming more sophisticated as technology evolves, yet the methods to acquire passwords or usernames may be as simple as sending an email or text asking for the information. Add layers of protection by using multi-factor authentication and increasing your awareness of what’s coming into your email box. Then, shake up your password protocol by coming up with the longest, most creative passwords for social media and financial accounts. Consider using password managers to generate and remember different complex passwords for each of the accounts.

Protect It.

Every click, share, send and post creates a digital imprint that can be exploited by cybercriminals. Review your security settings to find out how visible you are to others. Protect yourself from becoming a cybercrime victim by understanding, securing and maintaining your digital profile. Be familiar with and routinely check the privacy settings to limit cybercrimes. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device or another network-connected device, the best defense against cyber thieves and viruses is to stay current with the latest software, web browser, and operating updates. 

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an ideal time to become cyber aware. If you’re not sure where to begin, visit staysafeonline.org or bbb.org/cybersecurity for more information.

Sandra Guile is the Public Relations Specialist for BBB. She promotes BBB’s message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, media relations, press releases, web content, and other written materials. Your BBB is located at 1 East 4th Street Suite 600 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 – to reach the office, call (513) 421-3015.


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