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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

​​​​October is National C​yber Security Awareness Month which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. Saint Paul College is joining the campaign to raise awareness and promote and educate our students and employees on cyber security. View more info from the homeland security website here.

During October, we will have a new Cyber Security “theme” each week. ​

Week 1 (Oct 2nd – 6th): ONLINE SAFETY

Facts:

  • 7 in 10 Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves.1
  • 86% of 18-29 year olds use at least one social media site.1
  • 16,300 years = amount of time people around the world spent in 2013 repairing online damage to their personal reputations.3

Tips:

  • Always use privacy settings on social networking websites, and think twice about what you are posting and saying online. It can affect your ability to get a job later in life. Don’t forget that your online friends may include recruiters, adults, siblings, and professors. Set a good example for others in what you share and post online.
  • Avoid sharing your exact whereabouts online to avoid cyberstalking; wait to post those concert or trip pictures until you get home so criminals are not aware when your house is vacant.
  • Be careful who you friend on social media. Simply because someone with mutual friends wants to add you on a website or app does not mean they are trustworthy.
  • When banking and shopping online, make sure the site is security enabled with “https://” or “shttp://”. Otherwise your information may be at risk.
  • Use strong passwords with eight characters or more that use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
Week 2 (Oct 9th – 13th): CYBER SECURITY IN THE WORKPLACE

Facts:

  • 65% of professionals identified phishing and social engineering as the biggest security threat to their organization.2
  • 78% of people claim to be aware of the risks of unknown links in emails, yet click on these links anyway.2
  • The mean number of days to resolve cyber-attacks is 46 with an average cost of $21,155 per day – or a total cost of $973,130 over the 46-day remediation period.2

Tips:

  • Think twice before opening email attachments or clicking on embedded hyperlinks (URLs), especially if you do not recognize the source or are not explicitly expecting to receive the document or link. Hover your mouse over links and validate the URL you will be redirected to.
  • Always report suspicious emails to the IT Help Desk.
  • Use caution if the nature of the message is suspicious. Whether the message is from inside or outside your organization, and appears to be from an administrator or someone you know, but the email or request looks suspicious or out of character for that person, their email may be spoofed. Call the person and follow up to ensure they sent the message.
  • Avoid clicking “unsubscribe” – instead, add the send to your Junk Mail list and delete the message.
  • If you find a USB Flash Drive or other storage device, avoid plugging it into your computer. This is one method some scammers use in an effort to inject malware into our network systems from the inside. Instead, bring the device to Lost and Found (Public Safety).
  • Be vigilant when answering questions over the phone. Hackers will attempt to use Social Engineering tactics to gather bits and pieces of information, which could eventually be used in an effort to break into secured systems.
Week 3 (Oct 16th – 20th): PROTECTING YOUR DEVICES

Facts:

  • Less than 1 in 5 users polled take basic, foundational steps to protect their mobile devices.3
  • In 2015 new mobile vulnerabilities jumped a staggering 214% from 2014.4
  • New Android mobile malware variates increased 77% in 2015 over 2014.4

Tips:

  • Be caution about opening attachments or clicking on hyperlinks. They may contain viruses or spyware.
  • Use antivirus software to protect all devices, such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and gaming systems that connect to the Internet; only connect to the Internet over a secure network.
  • Be cautious when downloading applications on any of your devices (computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones) — they may contain malware that could infect your device. Don’t download unless you trust the source.
  • Review and understand the details of an app before installing it, and be wary of the information it requests. For example, ask yourself why a particular application or program would need access to your pictures, contact list, or other files.
  • Avoid using peer-to-peer file sharing software for music and other downloads; this type of software frequently contains viruses or malware and can expose sensitive information stored on your computer to others using the software.
Week 4 (Oct 23rd – 27th): DON’T FALL VICTIM TO SCAMS

Facts:

  • The top 5 most commonly encountered scams are lottery (44%), fake anti-virus (40%), phishing (39%), advance fee (39%) and work from home (38%).1
  • The top 4 complaints for fraud are Debt Collections (40%), Imposter Scams (21%), Identity Theft (20%), and Telephone and Mobile Services (15%).5
  • Wire Transfer is the number one method of consumer payment to scammers.6

Tips:

  • Never share personally identifiable information with someone who has contacted you unsolicited, whether it’s over the phone, by email, on social media, even at your front door. This includes banking and credit card information, your birthdate, and Social Security/Social Insurance numbers. Always use extra caution when sharing personally identifiable information with anyone.
  • Be wary of messages that implore you to act immediately. Scammers typically try to make you think something is scarce or a limited time offer. They want to push you into action before you have time to think or to discuss it with a family member, friend, or financial advisor. High-pressure sales tactics are also used by some legitimate businesses, but it’s never a good idea to make an important decision quickly.
  • Never send money to someone you have never met face-to-face. This includes requests for wire transfer, a prepaid debit card, or a gift card (those cannot be traced and are as good as cash).
  • Don’t believe everything you see. Scammers are great at mimicking official seals, fonts, and other details. Just because a website or email looks official does not mean that it is. Even Caller ID can be faked.
  • Be extremely cautious when dealing with anyone you’ve met online. Scammers use dating websites, Craigslist, social media, and many other sites to reach potential targets. They can quickly feel like a friend or even a romantic partner, but that is part of the con to get you to trust them.
Facts Resources:
  1. Social Media Fact Sheet. (2017, January 12). Retrieved from Pew Research Center
  2. 35 Cyber Security Statistics every CIO should know in 2017. (2017, Febuary 17). Retrieved from HP Business Blog
  3. YouthSparkHub. (2013). Retrieved from Microsoft YouthSparkHub
  4. Symantec 2016 ISTR. (2016, April 21). Retrieved from Symantec
  5. FTC Gov Press release. (2017, march 3). Retrieved from FTC.gov
  6. FTC Gov Consumer Sentinel Network Data book. (2016). Retrieved from FTC.gov

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