FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Homeland security says people need to be aware of threats and educate themselves on what to look for.
National Cyber Security Awareness month is a collaborative effort between government and industries to help ensure that people have resources they need to be safer and more secure online.
“We want to make sure that people are educated, that they need to take proactive steps in securing information both at their home and work. We’re trying to help boost our security posture across the united states,” Darren Clark said, owner of Clark Computer Services.
Homeland Security officials say this year they wanted to emphasize personal accountability. Part of this year’s mission is “Own it, Secure it, Protect it.”
One of the key elements is for people to educate themselves on what type of threats to look out for. One of those reoccurring threats is “phishing emails.”
“You can take it upon yourself to be educated on how to recognize when an email is sent to you as a phishing email trying to get you to give your passwords or some other personal information,” Clark said.
Security officials say social media can pose one of the biggest threats, especially to younger users. Homeland Security says the average teen has approximately 300 friends on Facebook and 79 followers on Twitter. 19% of teen users have posted things they regret including photos, videos and more.
They say parents need to be aware of what their kids do online. “There’s a lot of predators out there that pose as kids, who will send a friend request out, the child accepts it and then they use that as a means to try and get to the kid,” Clark said. Education is important, but officials urge people to review security and privacy setting policies especially on social media.