Every month brings news of a new crisis in online security. While disclosures of information breaches, accounts compromised on a mass scale, and other electronic criminal activity are disturbing, they highlight the value of better understanding how to stay safe online.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cyber security. Here are some actions you can consider:
- The best tool you have to help avoid risks online is your mind. Stop before you post, share or send. Make sure you trust the site you’re on, and before you share, think about how you’d feel if that information were to end up somewhere you didn’t intend. When going to new websites, think about whether they are definitely what they claim to be.
- As information you share on the Internet becomes increasingly accessible to others, what steps are you taking to manage it? Could a criminal use details about your life you’ve posted online, like travel plans, to impersonate you?
- Just as you use locks to keep criminals out of your home, you also need safeguards to secure your computer and online accounts.
- Two-factor authentication (like Cornell's Two-Step Login) is one way to protect your online identity. Another, newly available to the Cornell community at no cost, is the LastPass password management service.
LastPass allows you to store all of your passwords in a secure vault, which you protect with one master passphrase. It is a browser extension and mobile app that works across operating systems and device types. LastPass can also autofill forms, store private notes, and keep financial and bank information secure.
As technology advances, so do the techniques cyber criminals use to gain access to our information. Services like Two-Step Login and LastPass may be new to you, but they are increasingly essential, and going online without them is ever more risky.
You may not consider yourself a target, but everyone has valuable information cyber criminals seek, such as employee and customer records, bank account information, access to finances and a way to enter larger personal or computer networks.
To learn more about LastPass and sign up for your free, enterprise account, go to: https://it.cornell.edu/lastpass
Watch for weekly updates and information about in-person events you can attend to learn more and protect your devices at it.cornell.edu/secure. You can also follow @cornell_it and #CyberAware on Twitter for information about how to stay safe online.
– Matt Klein
Tech Training Spotlight
As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, CIT is offering several training sessions on how to protect yourself against phishing scams. Register now for the two-hour Deep Dive into Phishing Awareness workshop scheduled for Oct. 10, 18 or 25.
To receive training announcements, send an email with the subject: join to http://IT-Training-Lemail@example.com. For a complete listing of technical training resources, see http://www.it.cornell.edu/training. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.