Happy Cybersecurity Awareness Month

You guys. I’m so embarrassed.

I’ve had these two blog posts out on the interwebs, and I’ve let the stardom go to my head. Already. Alright, I guess I’d better back up and share the whole story with you. 

I set up an email account. You know, for all of my fan mail. And I got some!!!  You guys are too kind. I just say what’s on my mind you know, it’s nothing special. But I’m glad you like me. You really like me! Anyway. The most exciting email I got was from a guy named Kenedy Stoner. And you guys will NEVER guess what he said. He said he had a business transaction for me!! Now, you all know I haven’t had the swankiest of lives. So when he said business transaction, I was sure he was looking to offer me some endorsement deals for my ultra-popular new blog! I was pretty excited 

Well, it turns out he didn’t have any endorsement deals from Nike, Facebook, or Science Diet. But. He did have gold. And he had to get it into the country. And if I helped him, he would let me keep 10%!! YOU GUYS!!! Gold buys a lot of doggie treats!!!!! 

So. We were in talks. But then he needed ‘Some help with some fundds. Pls send to my name $1,500 via Western Union. THanks.’ Well, guys, it might be no surprise to you, but I don’t exactly have access to petty cash. No pockets. Or pants. So. I had to ask Trever. And he then told me aaaaaaalllll about this thing called scamming. Or spamming. Or… people lying. Turns out Kenedy never existed. And whoever sent this to me just wanted money. I know. I didn’t see it coming either.  

BUT the good news is, October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month!! And even BETTER news, I found a great game to play to learn this all! 

If you’ve got a dog, or kid, or even just a regular person that wants to learn about this stuff, but in a really fun, engaging way, Google has a program called Be Internet AwesomeAnd right now they’ve got a fun, free game you can play with different levels and worlds that will teach you all of these things, without you even realizing it!  

YOU GUYS! THEY GAVE ME A CERTIFICATE FOR ACING ALL OF THE GAME LEVELS!!!! You should go try it. And best of all, now I know what to do with a weird looking email, or what pictures I should share with the world, or just friends. It’s great. 

Rocky's Google Interland Certificate of Awesomeness

Thanks to Trever and his buddies at ASI, who deal with cyber and data security all day every day, I now have some great tips for you too! If you need any more info, go see the nice people over at the National Cyber Security AllianceThey’re pretty helpful!

  • [email protected]$w0rds_d0n’t_hav3_2_b_th!s[email protected]! Seriously, who can remember that? Make your password a passphrase. Remember: length trumps complexity when creating a strong passphrase!  Keep them long, easy-to-remember, and unique for each account.
  • Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure – limit what you do on public WiFi, and avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services. Also consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot.
  • Cybercriminals cast wide nets with #phishing tactics, hoping to drag in victims. They may offer a financial reward, threaten you if you don’t engage, or claim that someone is in need of help. Stop, take a moment, and think before you click.
  • Play Hard to Get with Strangers: If you’re unsure who an email is from—even if the details appear accurate—do not respond, and do not click on any links or attachments.
  • Cybercriminals love it when you overshare on social media – they can learn all about you! Make it harder for them by avoiding posting real names, places you frequent, and home, school and work locations.
  • Once posted, always posted: Protect your reputation on social networks. What you post online stays online.
  • Do all of your apps need to track your location? Um, no. Take a moment now to configure the privacy and security settings of your apps and, while you’re at it, help someone in your community configure theirs.
  • Enable automatic app updates in your device settings so your software runs smoothly and you stay protected against cyberthreats!
  • Rules for Keeping Tabs on Your Apps: 1) Delete apps you don’t need or no longer use. 2) Review app permissions. Limit how much data you share with the app.  3) Only download apps from trusted sources.
  • You may be revealing more than you think. Check your privacy and security settings to limit how much data you give away.

Stay safe guys! And if you safely want to bring me a doggie treat to make up for the ones I thought I was getting, well, you can do that too. I like treats!