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It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a good time to educate ourselves on the trends impacting cyber security today. We depend on multiple connected devices that cross into work and home environments.  Protecting your digital footprint is an important step in ensuring security in both venues.

Steve Martino, leader of Cisco’s Information Security organization, addressed how we can protect ourselves in a recent blog. He shares a few tips on how you can “own IT, protect IT, and secure IT.”

Recognize the Change: “It’s important to realize that technology is changing society faster than any other advance in human history,” Martino said. “Adults need to get smart about the implications and actively discuss ‘today’s digital reality’ with their children. Just as you teach a toddler to avoid a hot stove, teach them from an early age about safe online practices.”

Ask Questions: “When you acquire a new connected device, stop and ask where it came from.  Who connects with it and/or captures data from it? For what purpose do they collect the data and is that important to me?” explained Martino.

Maintain Your Devices: “Understand if the device you’re buying has software that will need to be updated and patched as vulnerabilities are found and fixed,” he shared.

Secure and Protect Passwords: “Make your passwords long and complex; change them regularly; don’t use the same password for multiple applications,” Martino said. “Change default password settings on new devices. We all know multiple passwords can get cumbersome and hard to remember, so use a reputable password manager to keep track for you.” 

Embrace Technology While Being Aware: “Being connected does not mean bad things will happen, but it pays to stay alert and understand best practices and how to apply them. For instance, don’t open email attachments if you’re not completely sure of the sender’s trustworthiness,” said Martino.

Remember Data Privacy: “Remember, when you put personal information online, it stays around for a long time and may come back to you in unexpected, and unwelcome, ways,” Martino said.

According to Martino, it’s time to “bring cybersecurity into the greater social consciousness and constructive discussions about changing norms.”

The development and adoption of new technology is speeding up and everyone should be able to embrace these new innovations in a safe and secure manner. Interested in learning more about protecting your data?  Stay tuned for more from the EDGE360 team and subscribe today.

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