How cyber security-savvy are you?

TOPEKA, KS – Consider this: You receive an email, tweet or post with a link that looks suspicious. Do you delete it or open it?
If you are following the guidelines promoted by the backers of October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, you won’t be tempted to open it.

October has been designated by the federal government as a time when Kansans and other United States citizens are asked to raise their awareness about how secure your electronic communications are, according to Ken Selzer, CPA, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance.

“Cybersecurity is something everyone needs to practice,” Commissioner Selzer said. “We need to be vigilant in making sure our personal information is kept secure. Kansas consumers should always be aware of activity on their financial accounts and insurance transactions and let their institutions know if something appears suspicious.”

The Department of Homeland Security and others have suggested the following guidelines:

  • Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone. Set them with at least eight characters, including letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, if a message sounds out of character for the sender, or includes nothing but a link in the body of the email, it may be suspicious. Check with the person who purportedly sent you the message to make sure it is legitimate.
  • Limit the type of business you conduct on public Wi-Fi networks.

“While corporations throughout the country continue to combat data breaches and sophisticated hacks of their information—in many cases, potentially your information—it is important that cyber vigilance begins at home,” Commissioner Selzer said.

Source: Kansas Insurance Department

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