October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to make a dent in those numbers by creating awareness about hackers and their techniques, and letting people know how they can protect themselves. To support that effort, Governor John Hickenlooper has also proclaimed October Cyber Security Awareness month for Colorado (see attached proclamation). The Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is teaming up with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, READYColorado, the Colorado Army National Guard and Regis University to sponsor several events geared toward educating the public about cyber security threats.
During the month of October events include:
- Free Cyber Security information through our call-in line: Saturday, October 18th from 10:00am-6:00pm. Call 303.964.6848 or 1-800-388-2366 EXT. 6848.
- Daily Twitter cyber security tips sent out by experts with the hashtag #CoCyberHelp
- Community outreach at several area schools (DPS, Adams, Aurora) over the next several months. School presentations will help “tweeners” and teens understand how their social media, computer and SmartPhone use can impact their security and their privacy.
- We have Information Security team members available for interviews on the following subjects:
- Detection of and avoiding phishing scams: the latest phishing scams are often spread through invitations to “shared” documents. These invitations require you to input username and password and thereby give the attackers crucial information to access your personal data. They are insidiously spread through users’ contacts and often change their email content and headline to avoid detection. We’ll tell you what the red flags are and how to protect yourself if you fall victim to these attacks.
- Keeping your home computer safe: use a firewall, scan for viruses, scan for spyware, stay up-to-date… computer updates often take care of known vulnerabilities in your computer, educate yourself (use strong passwords, know what scams to watch out for, stay abreast of latest tech news), secure your home network and mobile connection, back up, back up, back up. Make sure your most important information is saved somewhere besides your computer.
- Using social media safely: What settings keep you the safest, what posts can put you at risk, what to consider if you have children (picture posts, location settings, etc).
- Ways to keep your children safe online: step into their cyber world, know what their computer habits are, set house rules, teach them to protect their privacy. Make sure computer is in shared space so you know what is going on. Communication and relationship will be key to knowing when they are encountering dangers.
Please contact us if you would like to schedule an interview or if you would like to cover one of our educational presentations to students across the metro area. You can find more resources for cyber security tips at www.colorado.gov/cybersecurity/help .
*Cybercrime cost figure comes from a McAfee study cited in this Washington Post article.