A new trend has started – people are taking responsibility for their own safety online!
Last October when National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was getting started, it was reported that the incoming workforce of millennials was lax about cyber-risks. They engaged in risky online behavior like:
- Connecting to unprotected public WiFi networks
- Using a storage device that wasn’t their own
- Sharing a password with a non-family member
- Never changing their online banking password
2014 brings more awareness among “Digital Natives”
For this year’s NCSAM, a new survey was done by defense contractor Raytheon in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. It showed that awareness of online safety is rising, with 70% of millennials saying they follow cybersecurity concerns and are up-to-date on the topic. Eighty-seven percent believe they are personally responsible for their online safety.
Millennials are known as the “Facebook generation” or “Digital natives” because they grew up in the “digital age” with internet-connected devices. But just because they were born after the digital age began, doesn’t mean they were any more concerned about security than the so-called digital immigrants who had to replace analog skills with digital. But this year, maybe because of the high profile data breaches that have occurred repeatedly, millennials are concerned about their devices being infected by malware, credit or debit card theft, someone hacking into financial information, or falling victim to online scams or fraud.
While many are aware of the risks – roughly 60% have experienced some sort of online violation – identity theft, a computer virus, or a bad experience on social media – they’re still engaging in some risky behaviors, such as 72% using public WiFi that doesn’t require a password.
Interestingly enough, this increased awareness is also driving interest in a career in cybersecurity with millennials expressing a desire to make the Internet safer and more secure. The problem is that almost two-thirds of the total don’t know or aren’t sure what the “cybersecurity” profession is.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
AVAST is a proud champion of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and supporter of the European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) recognized this October. The month begins with the awareness that no individual, company, or government is solely responsible for securing the internet – it is Our Shared Responsibility.
Individual computer users are the first line of defense in guarding against online risks. For this reason, online security requires our collective participation, requiring awareness and vigilance from every citizen, community, and country.
How can I do my part?
The Stop.Think.Connect.™ campaign is designed to help people practice safer online habits. Here are some basic steps everyone from kids to business owners should know to minimize the chances of becoming a victim of cybercrime:
- Set strong passwords, change them regularly, and don’t share them with anyone.
- Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates. (AVAST has Free protection for PCs, Macs, and Android devices.)
- Maintain an open dialogue with your friends, family, and colleagues about Internet safety.
- Use privacy settings and limit the amount of personal information you post online.
- Be cautious about offers online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
During this month, we’ll talk more about cybersecurity with AVAST experts and share tips that you can adopt and share. For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please visit our blog often and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Question of the Week: I’m a gamer who also banks and shops online. Am I at risk for identity theft?
Your activities online can potentially make you more vulnerable to identity theft. How many times a month do you access your bank account online? How many email addresses do you have? Do you like to try previews of new games? These questions can help you determine your exposure to identity theft.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, it takes people an average of six months and 200 hours to recover from identity theft.
StaySafeOnline, the organization behind National Cyber Security Awareness Month, of which Avast is a proud champion, has an Online Identity Risk Calculator that can help you know if you’re at risk. Players answer some questions to find their personal identity risk score and get practical tips on keeping their online identity protected. Play now!
Cybersecurity begins with STOP. THINK. CONNECT. These three simple steps are the starting point for staying safer and more secure online.
- STOP: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems. An obvious step is to install antivirus protection. For the risk averse, we suggest avast! Internet Security with SafeZone, an isolated environment that keeps your sensitive transactions private.
- THINK: Take a moment to be certain the digital path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your online actions could impact your safety or your family’s.
- CONNECT: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.
Avast Software is proud to be a champion that supports National Cyber Security Awareness Month with news and tips on how, together, we can make a safer digital society.