Monday, September 29, 2008

Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The purpose of Cyber Security Awareness is to call attention to the importance of protecting the online information of you and your family. As StaySafeOnline describes the goal:
"The goal of National Cyber Security Awareness Month is to educate everyday Internet users on how to "Protect Yourself Before You Connect Yourself", by taking simple and effective steps."
Therein begs the question: How can I protect myself before I connect?

In the Microsoft reference below, there are
four suggested steps, the first three being to use a firewall, antivirus software, and antispyware software. The remaining recommendation by Microsoft is to turn on automatic updating.

Ensuring those steps are in place will provide your computer with the basic protection that is needed and are, of course, absolutely necessary. Is that sufficient? What else do you need to do? I like the way fellow Microsoft MVP, Harry Waldron explained that Security requires both technical defenses and user awareness:
"Home and corporate users cannot be expected to become security experts. Conversely if someone totally ignores the many dangerous security exposures, they will most likely experience technical issues with their PC or they could even become a victum of fraud. Instead, users should be taught the basic principles of risk avoidance and where to go to for help."
In recognition of Cyber Security Awareness Month, following is a collection of articles I have compiled that will provide both information as well as places to go for help so you can Protect Yourself Before You Connect Yourself.

Child Safety

As parents, grandparents and other family members, keeping our children safe online is paramount. The documents below contain information to sources providing guidance
for protecting the privacy and personal safety of our children. General Security

General security sites, including government as well as sites providing virus warnings and security advisories.


As Harry Waldron indicated in the article linked above:
"Many attacks user social and technical engineering approaches that can deceive even highly experienced users. For example, malware authors use embed actual HTML from the real websites or simulate Windows dialog boxes"
The social engineering techniques used by malware authors are particularly clever when it comes to phishing. Learn how to recognize a phish and protect yourself from potential identity theft.
Secure Your Wireless Network

As families add additional computers to the home environment, wireless networks are becoming very common. Don't let your wireless network be a source of data or identity theft. Be sure it is propery secured.

Cyber Security Awareness References:

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

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