October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Are You Ready?

october 04, 2021 | internet security
Family practicing cybersecurity awareness

October is the month when cybersecurity is on everyone’s mind. At least it should be on your mind. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM), so you’ll hear media reports on the topic frequently. They’ll focus on new scams, old “favorites,” and new tactics to fight back against scams and hacks. So join the observation this year do your part.

This nationwide education effort works under a collaborative slogan: “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” As this month of heightened awareness enters its 18th year, professional security experts need your help. The battle is not something only professionals can do.

“This evergreen theme encourages individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity,” the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) sums up its focus.  

Breaking Down the Plan

Cybersecurity is a broad topic, but don’t worry. You don’t have to learn it all in a day. Each week in October, there’s a different focus. Week 2, for example, shines a glaring spotlight on phishing—a popular ploy scammers use to steal login credentials or distribute malware. Phishing to commit fraud is rising and it’s a key factor con artists count on for their successes. Everyone who learns how to spot a ‘phishy’ email or text will contribute to the cause.

If you’re new to the battle against digital consumer fraud, several federal and state agencies have been fighting this war every day of every year. Many of these scam busters fight hard and often succeed in assisting the victims.

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced $5 million in refund checks would go to consumers who’d seen unauthorized charges on their home phone bills. The process is called cramming—the business practice of adding unapproved debits to a consumer’s bill. In addition, FTC maintains a national refund map if you’d like to see what the agency has returned each year to residents of your state.

Know Your Rights, Share Your Knowledge

Stage One in the battle is knowing your rights regarding credit card protections, billing disputes, account security and additional aspects of your digital life.

Many individuals need to learn more regarding cyber awareness. If you participate in group activities, hold a cybersecurity night where attendees attempt to answer true or false questions about digital fraud. If your son or daughter engages in Scouts or other groups, they’re not too young to earn digital safety and defensive actions. IDShield offers many resources to help, including a cybersecurity overview that can boost awareness.

Shield Yourself

Cybersecurity is attainable, but it’s a battle no one should fight alone. It takes all of us. This month, IDShield rolls out three powerful new features that can boost member security significantly.

We’ve added a password manager to our service package, plus a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and expanded data monitoring. VPNs are an intelligent way to cloak your online surfing and keep trackers from following your searchers. This software can also turn risky public Wi-Fi at restaurants, bars, stores or an airport runway into a network that’s secure from hackers. We’re proud to offer Trend Micro’s VPN Proxy One, which employs bank-grade data encryption for all your data.

For every door that opens on the internet, there’s usually a “key” to open that door—in other words, a combination of username and password. And behind each door is a ton of personal information about you. So simple passwords, reusing them for multiple accounts and saving them to your web browser is akin to handing out the keys protecting your personally identifiable information to anyone online.

Our new password manager tool can also create unique, tough passwords. Then, all you need to remember is a single code to access the manager instead of 100 different codes. Once it’s up and running, you’ll love the time savings, too.

Our new Trend Micro Maximum Security benefit secures mobile Android and iOS devices, in addition to home computers and laptops. In addition, new parental controls allow adults to schedule time restrictions for when children can browse the web and content filters to block specific internet segments from their young eyes. Depend on us to provide a strong defense against known and never-before-seen attacks to keep you ahead of the rapidly changing threat landscape.

IDShield is a product of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”). LegalShield provides access to identity theft protection and restoration services. IDShield plans are available at individual or family rates. For complete terms, coverage, and conditions, please see an identity theft plan. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal or tax advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations.

Learn more about protecting yourself against identity theft and fraud