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October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Learn how to protect your home against cyberthreats, and check out MSU Denver’s new cybersecurity program.

By Diane Watkins

October 15, 2018

Man standing in server roomOctober marks the 15th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). The event aims to highlight the challenges and identify opportunities associated with living in tech-fueled times and to remind everyone that protecting the internet is “Our Shared Responsibility.” In addition, NCSAM 2018 will shine a spotlight on the critical need to build a strong, cybersecure workforce to help ensure that families, communities, businesses and the country’s infrastructure are better protected. 

Throughout the month, we will have Early Bird articles based on weekly NCSAM themes. The first week focused on online safety, not just at work but also in the home.

Today, people use the internet to engage in social media, adjust their home thermostat or shop for the latest connected toy. It is vital to make certain that the entire household — including children — learns to use the internet safely and responsibly and that networks and mobile devices are secure. 

The following tips will help you secure your home: 

  • Be aware of all of your “smart” devices that connect to the internet as well as the information gathered and shared by them.
  • Create a unique username and password for each device rather than using the default.
  • Configure your wireless network to require a password to join it.
  • Be cautious of people phishing for information from you. If a phone call or message seems suspicious or an offer sounds too good to be true, it may be a scam.

This week’s theme, Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity, highlights the shortage of cybersecurity professionals as a key risk to our economy and security.

Educating the next generation of interested and capable cybersecurity professionals is a starting point to building stronger defenses. There are limitless opportunities to educate students about the field of cybersecurity as they consider their options.

Metropolitan State University of Denver now offers a Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity through the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. The program provides students with in-depth knowledge and background as well as practical skills in policymaking regarding assessing and managing cyberthreats as well as investigating, prosecuting and punishing cybercriminals. 

Stay tuned for more National Cybersecurity Awareness Month throughout the month.

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