October is Cyber Security Month

by: Prince, Glover & Hayes Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

October is a Cyber Security month. In October of 2001, President Bush signed into law H.R. 3162, the USA PATRIOT Act. Under the Act the U.S. Secret Service was to establish a nationwide network of Electronic Crimes Task Forces to prevent, detect, mitigate and aggressively investigate attacks on the nation’s financial and critical infrastructures. Cybercriminals, however, do not discriminate and target vulnerable computer systems regardless of whether they are part of a government agency, Fortune 500 company, small business, or belong to a home user. There are steps you can take to minimize your chances of an incident:
• Set strong passwords, change them regularly, and don’t share them with anyone.
• Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
• Maintain an open dialogue with your friends, family, colleagues and community about Internet safety.
• Use privacy settings and limit the amount of personal information you post online.
• Be cautious about offers online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you are a victim of a cyber incident, follow the following tips released by the Department of Homeland Security:
Immediate Actions
• Check to make sure the software on all of your systems is up-to-date.
• Run a scan to make sure your system is not infected or acting suspiciously.
• If you find a problem, disconnect your device from the Internet and perform a full system restore.
If at Home
• Disconnect your device from the Internet to prevent an attacker or virus from being able to access your system.
• If you have anti-virus software installed on your device, update the virus definitions and perform a manual scan of your entire system. Install all of the appropriate patches to fix known vulnerabilities.
If at Work
• If you have access to an IT department, contact them immediately.
• If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information about your organization, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators.
If at a public place (school, library, etc.)
• Immediately inform a librarian, teacher, or manager in charge. If they have access to an IT department, contact them immediately.
After taking immediate action, notify the proper authorities:
• File a report with the local police so there is an official record of the incident.
• Report online crime or fraud to your local United States Secret Service (USSS) Electronic Crimes Task Force or Internet Crime Complaint Center.
• Report identity theft and consumer fraud to the Federal Trade Commission.


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