Fighting off 'tricksters' during National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Information Security Officer
OARnet and OH-TECH
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 3:15pm (updated Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 11:07am)

This October is the 11th annual observance of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the non-profit National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).


October might well have been chosen because of its association with frightening tricksters who come right to your doorstep in search of loot. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are not satisfied with chocolate; they’re after your passwords, private information, and credit cards.  Here are some security treats for you to enjoy and help keep away the goblins:

  • At your computer: You don’t need a high-performance computer like the systems at the Ohio Supercomputer Center to protect yourself. Whether your computer is a laptop, a desktop or a mobile phone, you should always keep a clean machine and stay patched against the newest threats and malware.
  • On the network: With the rise of fast, ubiquitous networks, such as Ohio’s OARnet, it seems that there is network access available wherever you go. Always connect with care; never connect to unknown networks or your passwords and personal data may be put at risk.
  • At school: Distance education and e-learning programs, like those available through eStudent Services, have transformed the way we go to school. Make sure to keep security in mind and protect your personal information by using strong passwords. The NCSA has some great resources for educators to help keep students safe.
  • At the library: Libraries aren’t just buildings with books anymore; thanks to organizations like OhioLINK, publications are now available at the tip of your fingers.  Wherever and whenever you’re browsing, be web wise and be sure that the web site you’re visiting is the site you want to be visiting.

Cyber Security Month has a theme of “Security is a Shared Responsibility.” Hackers and cyber-criminals are a frightful bunch, but by following good security practices you can help stop them from making off with your goodies.                        

Want more? Check out what did with this "throwback" video