Monday, October 12, 2015

Keep Celebrating! - Mobile and Social

   We continue our celebration of US Cyber Security Awareness month!  This partnership between Homeland Security, NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance) and the MS-ISAC (Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center) is an opportunity to recognize the importance of information security.  It started in 2003 as a way to build awareness for online security and privacy and to encourage individuals, business and government.

   This is another of my weekly posts connected with the weekly themes put together by DHS.  This week the theme is staying protected while always connected.  That rhymes!

   We are always connected!  According to the Pew Research Center, in 2015 90% of american adults own a cell phone, 64% own a smart phone.  And one of the major uses for smart phones is... not calls but social media!  How do we stay safe online and on the move?

   It doesn't have to be difficult!  There are some simple things we can all do to protect ourselves and our families online and on social.

   Here are a few tips for mobile from DHS:

  • Use the same protections you use on computers - anti-malware, use care with attachments, careful when you click
  • Guard your device - mobile devices are easily lost and are a target for theft
  • Use care with apps - check app permissions before installing - why does a game need to see your contacts and your location?  Also, installing too many apps can slow down your phone.
   When it comes to social media there's plenty to remember.  But let's keep it simple with a few basic tips:
  • you should assume that what you post is visible to everyone - there are privacy settings for all social media sites, but their policies change regularly, and
  • once it's out there, it's out there - there's always a copy somewhere.
  • Your "friends" are not necessarily your friends - most people don't know all their social media connections - so use care when a "friend" sends you a link or a file
  • Talk with your kids about their social media use
   Here's a pdf of the DHS Mobile Security Tip Card.  And here is the DHS Social Media Guide.

   Finally, here is a Smart Phone Security Checker from the FCC.  It provides specific tips for Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows phone.

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