NCSAM 2018 Week 1 – Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety


As always, the overarching theme for the month is that security is “Our Shared Responsibility”. For the first four weeks of October, we will be discussing a couple of related topics a week. One will be a national topic,selected by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the other will be a local topic, directly relevant to life inside the “Berry bubble”.
This week, the national topic is “Making Your Home a Haven for Online Security”. This encompasses a number of ideas, from properly configuring computers, devices, and internet connection devices, usually called “wifi routers”, to remembering to “Stop, Think, then Connect”. Let’s expand on these.
A huge percentage of homes have high-speed Internet connections, all requiring proper configuration and management. For the most part, internet service providers (ISP) will take care of these devices, but when we purchase a home wifi router, it is up to us to properly set it up. Be sure to change the default password on these devices and if the device offers automatic updating, you should enable it. If it does not, use that smartphone you undoubtedly have and set a calendar reminder to check for updates to the device every one to three months. Be sure to register for email updates from the manufacturer – many times this will include update notifications.

Don’t forget your computers, tablets, the previously mentioned smart phones, and other network-connected devices. These should all be kept up to date. Both Windows and macOS offer automatic update procedures, as does Linux, if that is your cup of tea. Tablets, such as those from Amazon and other manufacturers have automatic updates enabled by default in most cases. Don’t neglect to allow them to update. For your smartphones, you are usually at the mercy of the wireless carrier, such as Verizon or AT&T for updates, so when they come out, make sure to update them quickly.

And remember, in all online activity, remember to Stop, Think, then Connect.

  • STOP – Check to make sure all defenses are in place. For example, your system is up to date, your anti-virus is up to date and running, etc.
  • THINK – Think about the consequences of your action and behaviors. Is this a phishing email, or have you actually won a lottery you didn’t buy a ticket for, or is this really a Nigerian prince who wants your help? Should you post that picture from the party last night, or should that poor decision simply be forgotten?
  • CONNECT – After considering your actions and verifying your defenses, connect and enjoy the Internet.

Of course, we realize that you spend most of your year here with us at Berry, living in residence halls,townhouses and cottages. Be good citizens of this environment by turning the wireless networking off on your wireless printers, limiting the use of Bluetooth devices, and surfing responsibly. All of the previous recommendations about updates still apply while living on campus.

Finally, students, check out the free KnowBe4 security awareness training available in your MyApps portal –

Thanks for reading, I hope you read next week’s as well!

(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)