It’s Cyber Security Awareness Month! This is a time to help better understand the cyber threats we face online and the simple steps we can take to minimize those risks. This week we’re talking about cyber security beyond Carleton.

Taking control of your own cyber security begins with understanding one simple fact: the Internet can be a hazardous place. Protecting yourself can be easy when you make cyber safety a priority and become aware of the most common threats and risks to your online security.

Here are three things you can do to protect yourself when browsing:

Know your Options for Browser and OS Security

  • Use the drop down menus on your browser to set your options. Always set your own options for optimum security.
  • Keep your browser and OS updated with the newest version. OS manufacturers release regular updates called ‘patches’ or ‘fixes’ to improve security. Enable automatic updates so your device will download and install these fixes as soon as they’re available. Make sure ‘automatic updates’ are turned on.
  • Always log out of services and close your browser when you’re done. This is particularly important when using websites that contain sensitive information.

Use Public Wi-Fi Safely

  • Make use of a VPN service, to ensure all your traffic is encrypted.
  • Confirm the name of the network before connecting to ensure that you are not trying to connect to a fake access point that was set up by hackers.
  • Turn off ‘automatic connectivity’ to prevent your device from automatically reconnecting to rogue networks

Whether you’re banking, connecting with friends, working, or just passing the time, when you’re online you are never alone. Just as you’d watch your back, your family, and your belongings in a busy public place, you need to be equally cautious online.