National Internet Safety Month is designated by the U.S. Congress and supported by the National Cyber Security Alliance. NCSA advises everyone to follow three easy steps before going online: Stop. Think. Connect.
Stop. Every time you access the Internet is an opportunity for someone to adversely impact you. Not to be overdramatic, just be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Understand the consequences of your actions and implications for your online privacy.
Think. Be wary of requests from strangers. Your Mom’s advice of “don’t talk to strangers” works equally as well online. Also, be aware of unsolicited requests from ‘friends’, like your bank or credit card company. Communications asking for your immediate action or personal information should raise red flags so proceed with extreme caution, if ever.
Connect. When entering sensitive information like passwords, credit cards, etc., make sure you’re on a secure site (https). In addition, enable strong authentication tools like 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), biometrics, or security keys wherever possible, especially when accessing sensitive information like online banking and other financial transactions. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, as many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Don’t become a statistic.
For more information on NCSA resources and tools you can use to keep you and your family secure, go to https://stopthinkconnect.org.