BBB Tips: Cyber Security Awareness Month

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is reminding consumers and business owners to consider how they might need to revamp their security measures for online interactions. 

“The importance of being cyber secure is not going away, if anything it has become even more important as many people navigate working remotely and students integrate online learning,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern NC. “At BBB, we are dedicated to establishing a trustworthy marketplace; therefore, we will continue to equip consumers and businesses with the necessary knowledge to keep their information safe and secure.”

BBB Cyber Security Tips:

Share with care. What you post can last a lifetime, so think about who will see your posts and photos, how they will be perceived, and what information they reveal about you.

Own your online presence. Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information.

Value your personal information. Think of your personal information like money: value and protect it. Be careful what sites you visit and be sure you are on a legitimate site before entering personal information. Be especially wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for personal information.

Make your passwords long and strong. Use long passwords with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols – eight characters for most accounts, twelve characters for email and financial accounts. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, especially email and financial. Keep a paper list of your passwords in a safe place, not on or near your computer. Consider using a password vault application.

Lock down your login. For your online accounts, use the strongest authentication tools available. Your usernames and passwords are not enough; consider two-factor authentication for key accounts like email, banking, and social media, especially for access on mobile devices.

Don’t click on unfamiliar links. Whether at home or at work, don’t click on links from unfamiliar sources or unexpected correspondence. One false click can infect a whole computer… or a whole business.

Pay attention to your Internet-connected devices. Smart thermostats, voice control systems, cars, even refrigerators are just the beginning of the growing list of devices that watch our homes and track our location. Read the privacy policy and understand what data is being collected and how it will be used.

BBB’s Five-Step Approach to Cyber Security for Businesses: 

Identify your assets. Take inventory of key technologies you use and know what information you need to rebuild your infrastructure from scratch. Inventory the key data you use and store and keep track of likely threats.

Protect your assets. Assess what protective measures you need to have in place to be as prepared as possible for a cyber incident. Put protective policies in place for technologies, data and users, and ensure that your contracts with cloud and other technology service providers include the same protections. 

Detect incidents. Put measures in place to alert you of current or imminent threats to system integrity, or loss or compromise of data. Train your users to identify and speedily report incidents.

Respond with a plan. Make and practice an Incident Response Plan to contain an attack or incident and maintain business operations in the short term.

Recover normal operations. Know what to do to return to normal business operations after an incident. Protect sensitive data and your business reputation over the long term.

To learn more about cyber security best practices at home or work, check Managing Your Child’s Online Safety, Back to School Internet Safety, andTips to Stay Cyber Secure When Working Remote.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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