Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.

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10.28.2019
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Security
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Sarah Nicholas

There’s never been a more important time for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. 

Every October since 2004, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month has provided Americans the occasion to assess our personal cybersecurity profile. This year’s theme is ‘Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.’ Run by the National Cybersecurity Alliance, this year’s campaign aims to encourage personal accountability and proactive behavior in digital privacy, security best practices, common cyber threats and cybersecurity careers. 

As the line between our on- and offline lives has become virtually imperceptible, there couldn’t be a more important time to commemorate and reflect on cybersecurity. Let’s take this opportunity to heighten our awareness, assess our personal and family’s online life, and identify where we might make changes to protect ourselves better. 

From the recent DoorDash incident affecting 4.9 million consumers to the two-year anniversary in September of the massive Equifax breach impacting 147 million customers, we constantly hear about the seemingly inescapable cybersecurity dangers. Is it worth even trying to protect ourselves, and if so, where should we start? 

CYBERSECURITY IS ABSOLUTELY WORTHWHILE. 

The purpose of security is to slow down and inhibit attacks, as no security measure is fool-proof. But the more measures you put in place, the more you can limit your exposure, and the less likely you are to become a victim. 

ASSESS YOUR PERSONAL AND YOUR FAMILY’S CYBER HEALTH. 

The NCSA offers great resources to help you figure out where you might have holes in your defense. From cyber safety basics to tips on preventing cybercrime, it’s a great place to turn to and get a sense of where your cyber health falls. 

TAKE STOCK OF ALL THE DEVICES YOUR FAMILY USES AND ASSESS THE SECURITY PROFILE OF EACH ONE. 

Many vendors offer free device security checks. Involve your kids, partner, or spouse. Set a deadline for completing the checks and enjoy a reward everyone’s agreed upon once you’ve completed it. 

PRIORITIZE YOUR FAMILY’S PHONES AS YOU DO YOUR SECURITY CHECKS. 

Did you know that Americans check their phones 47 times per day? As dependent as we are on our phones, we often leave them behind in security check-ups. You can find detailed advice here. 

ONE CREATIVE WAY TO INCREASE YOUR SECURITY POSTURE IS TO DECREASE YOUR DEPENDENCE ON YOUR PHONE. 

In her book, How to Break Up with Your Phone, and on her website, Catherine Price offers resources to help you create a healthier relationship with your phone, including a seven day phone break-up challenge. 

If you want to strengthen your cybersecurity posture both at home and at work, Ameris Bank and the hundreds of organizations who celebrate NCSAM around the world have the wealth of resources you need. You can find additional helpful cybersecurity resources on our website, and we invite you to follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter. 

 

 

Written by: Sarah Nicholas 

Sarah is the Director of Communications for Serendipity Communications. She lives in Plainwell, Michigan with her husband, daughters and stepson, with twin stepdaughters nearby. She is passionate about cyber safety education for children and enjoys ballet dancing, reading and volunteering at her children’s school. 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Ameris Bank does not endorse nor is affiliated with the companies listed in this article.