Shred-it Recognizes National Cyber Security Awareness Month
NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Shred-it, a world-leading information security company providing document destruction services, recognizes October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month and is making strides to help individuals and businesses identify and proactively mitigate Cyber Security attacks.
According to the National Security Council, President Obama declared that the “cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation” and that “America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cyber security.” Furthermore, according to a report released by Symantec earlier this year, one in 274 emails contained malware, one in 358 emails was identified as phishing and 2,305 websites are blocked per day. With millions of emails exchanged daily, the risk for cyber-attacks that expose sensitive data is at an all-time high.
“As end users become increasingly digital, online hackers are becoming equally as savvy and creative in the ways in which they break into systems and expose confidential information,” said Mike Skidmore, Privacy & Security Officer, Shred-it. “The onus is on individuals and businesses to instill a sense of Cyber Security awareness and educate employees on how to proactively identify, avoid and sustain threats and attacks.”
Shred-it calls on individuals and businesses to protect themselves against cyber security risks and offers these tips for staying safe this season:
- Defend your computer – Keep your software current, never turn off your firewalls and maintain your computer’s health through regular virus checks. If you’re a business, restrict access on computers to ensure that information is exchanged securely.
- Practice password protection – Use passwords with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols, vary your passwords for different sites and do not share your passwords.
- Think before you click – Make sure that attachments are from a safe sender before opening them and do not click links from unknown sources or pop-up ads.
- Keep your personal information safe – Check for webpage security by looking for https in the URL and the padlock icon in the URL bar before entering sensitive data. Never give out personal information like account details in response to email, IM or social network requests.
- Know your Internet profile – Search the Internet to see what information is available about you (i.e. address, phone number, birthdate, hometown, etc.). Evaluate whether this information puts you at risk for identity theft.
- Be aware of risk offline -Think your digital security is up to par? Don’t forget that your hard drive contains sensitive information. Be mindful of this when disposing of old drives and computers.
- Train to prepare – The best way to mitigate risk is through proper staff training on information security policies. Individuals should maintain a personal cyber security plan and educate children and family members on ways to protect themselves.
- Designate a cyber-security-based manager – or management team if bandwidth allows – to develop a protocol for mitigating and handling Cyber Security attacks.
- Destroy hard drives – Before disposing of old computers, USBs and hard drives, be sure to destroy data completely. E-media that is shredded or crushed is 100% non-recoverable.
Be sure to follow @Shredit under the hash tag #CyberSecurity to receive the latest information and tips on mitigating Cyber Security risk.
Shred-it is a world-leading information security company providing document destruction services that ensure the security and integrity of our clients’ private information. The company operates 140 service locations in 16 countries worldwide, servicing more than 150,000 global, national and local businesses, including the world’s top intelligence and security agencies, more than 500 police forces, 1,500 hospitals, 8,500 bank branches and 1,200 universities and colleges. For more information, please visit www.shredit.com.