National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month! To show Emerson’s commitment to cybersecurity, we are partnering with the Department of Homeland Security, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), to promote the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign. The campaign is an awareness effort designed to help Americans practice safer online habits, and to encourage everyone to view Internet safety as a shared responsibility.

In the spirit of this month of awareness, Emerson IT has chosen to focus on two major issues during October: phishing and online identity protection.

Phishing is any attempt to acquire confidential information from users by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. According to Kaspersky labs, between 2012 and 2013, 37.3 million Internet users around the world were subjected to a phishing attack†. The Emerson community has been the target of phishing attacks before, sometimes even by phishers claiming to be affiliated with the College. Alertness is the best protection against phishing! Emerson IT has written a guide for simple things to look for in any email to investigate its legitimacy.

Phishing attacks aren’t the only way that people can lose control of their information online. Sometimes what we share on social media in the process of building our online identities can work against us, too. More than a third of employers use, or plan to use, social media to research potential candidates, and this number can only be higher in tech-affiliated industries. Jobs in the entertainment and marketing industries are often obtained using social networking, and arguably the easiest way to make these connections is online. If you want to verify your online identity for professionalism, accuracy, and security, a simple start would be Googling yourself and checking the results. To learn how to change your privacy settings on popular websites, visit this page on the NCSA’s website. Take control of your personal information!

Awareness is a crucial precursor to action. Throughout the month of October, keep an eye on the @EmersonIT Twitter account and your ECMail inbox for more information on cybercrime and what you can do to prevent it.

The Evolution of Phishing Attacks 2011 – 2013

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