Cybersecurity Awareness Month

During October, National Cybersecurity Awareness is recognized. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Cyber Security Alliance and The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency have created a theme for this year’s awareness: “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” The Morristown Police Department (MPD) is helping to spread awareness with the following cybersecurity safety tips to help you and your loved ones from becoming vulnerable.

Own IT/Secure IT

· Keep your personal information personal.

· Change your password often; using a sentence or phrase creates strong passwords.

· Use multi-factor authentication to sign in to your sensitive information websites.

· When online shopping, use safe payment options. Credit cards instead of bank/debit cards are the most secure way to pay for items online. Make sure the website you are using begins with https://. This means the website has extra security measures to keep your information secured.

· Cellphones, computers, tablets, etc. need to have a security code or multi-factor authentication to open devices.

Protect IT

· Make sure your devices have the latest malware and security; keep them updated.

· Public Wi-Fi is generally not secure. If you must access websites that need a password or other sensitive information (banking sites, social media, etc.), use your cell phone and your phone’s network to keep information protected. If you must use public Wi-Fi, ask the employees the network name and IP address before joining.

Parent Tips for Teaching Your Child

· Have a conversation about rules of the internet, dangers of meeting social media “friends”.

· Use Acronyms:

Y.A.P.P.Y (Your Name, Address, Phone Number, Your Plans) when discussing which personal information not to give out.

S.M.A.R.T. (Stay Safe, Don’t Meet UP, Accepting Files, Reliable, Tell Someone) when discussing internet safety.

· Disable in-app purchases from your child’s device

· Let your child show you what they like to do on the internet; take interest and co-view or co-create at times.

· Do not support your child signing up for sites with age restrictions if they are under the recommended age (e.g. 13+).

Protecting your personal information with all the technology is not as easy as it once was. Each year, the MPD works over 100 Credit Card Fraud cases and the number continues to increase. Now is the time to have conversations with your loved ones and your children about security measures to protect personal information and staying safe using the internet.