October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Sony, Target, Home Depot, Yahoo and even the U.S. Office of Personnel Management have all been attacked by cybercriminals. Let’s face it: In today’s world, the cybersecurity threats facing our nation can seem overwhelming – and downright scary. Cybersecurity, specifically the protection and security of consumer-members’ assets and the nation’s complex, interconnected network of power plants, transmission lines and distribution facilities is a top priority for electric cooperatives and other segments of the electric power industry.
This October, the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) is participating in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Since its inception under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, NCSAM has grown exponentially, reaching consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, corporations, educational institutions and young people across the nation.
By raising awareness and understanding of basic cybersecurity practices, we can all work together to combat cyberthreats.
The AIEC invites you to join us in recognizing NCSAM. This week, Jeff Thompson, Certified Ethical Hacker, from the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology will be at the Social Media and Crisis Communication’s Workshop presenting information on the hacker’s perspective to social networking. Attendees will learn how to help secure your confidential data and protect your personal information. Also, the statewide will post tips on keeping your data protected.
- Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including PCs, tablets and smartphones – up to date to reduce risk of infection from malware.
- Create long passwords that only you will remember, and change them every six months. Remember, a strong password is at least 12 characters long.
- Avoid the use of thumb drives and other portable memory devices.
- Don’t click on weblinks or attached files in emails when you’re not certain of who the sender is.
- Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information. Share security tips with friends, family and colleagues, and encourage them to be web wise.
We hope you will join us in raising cybersecurity awareness. Use and follow #cyberaware on social media to show and share your support. To learn more about NCSAM, visit www.staysafeonline.org.