In October, National Cyber Security Awareness Month spotlights three indisputable truths about the Internet. First, it’s an incredible resource that offers a universe of opportunities to connect, transact, and have fun and learn. Second, performing these activities comes with the risk of becoming a victim of digital breaches that intend to deprive you of your personal data, privacy, and money. Third, the methods are increasingly complex and persistent, so you must be even more determined to thwart their efforts at every step.
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The good news is that you don’t have to defend your digital world on your own. Most internet services now offer tools that can detect and prevent potential scams and fraud before you even know it’s happening. Internet security today is truly a team effort. You do your own thing on the home front and your provider protects you on the network. Together, you are a significant security force against online threats and schemes.
With that in mind, here are some common sense practices you can use to stay ahead of Internet threats and minimize your risk of being hacked, phished or scammed:
• Protect your accounts with a strong password – enter seven or more characters, numbers and symbols; and passwords change between accounts. For better protection, consider a password management tool like LastPass, which creates and stores strong, unique passwords, helping you securely log into any work site or app — which means you can finally ditch the stuck Post-It note . to your monitor with all your inputs.
• Use two-factor authentication, which generates a one-time code sent to your mobile device or email to verify your identity.
• Always be alert when opening e-mails or text messages, especially from unknown senders or from a familiar source but seem unusual. Be suspicious of anything that asks you to click a link to update personal or financial information.
• Stay away from unsecured sites. If the URL doesn’t start with “https:”, just say “no”.
• Don’t share your personal information or your location too much on social media.
• Install antivirus software on your devices and run scheduled scans. Disconnect any device you suspect has been hacked from your network.
If you follow these “golden rules,” then the next smart thing you can do to minimize your online exposure—and it doesn’t take too much effort—is to enable online security features available through your internet service provider.
Cox customers can take advantage of Panoramic Wifi’s Advanced Security, an add-on service that provides an extra layer of protection for your home network through the following features:
• Connected device monitoring automatically extends to any device wirelessly connected to your home network: phones, laptops, game consoles, cameras, and more.
• Continuous Wi-Fi traffic analysis using Advanced Intelligence and machine learning to detect and automatically block suspicious activity in real time.
• An activity alert dashboard that allows you to check the security status of your network at any time and informs you about digital security actions taken every day.
Advanced Security helps you avoid accidentally accessing malicious sites. It blocks remote access to smart devices from unknown or dangerous sources and monitors real-time activity to detect devices behaving in unusual ways that may indicate a network threat.
Advanced Security is included with your Panoramic Wi-Fi service and is available through the Panoramic Wifi app. It takes less than a minute to install and puts you in control. You can take advantage of the new Cox Internet Security Hub to learn how to stay safe in online situations. The center also provides guidance for getting the most out of your Cox services and expert help for all your devices.
This October, don’t just recognize Cyber Security Month, observe it by mobilizing your internet security team. Learn more here Multi Panoramic Wifi Advanced Security page.
Author: Susan Anable is Vice President of Public Affairs for Cox, Southwest Region.