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October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an annual campaign held every October to raise awareness and ensure that everyone has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. The Internet touches nearly every aspect of our daily lives. When we all take steps to protect our connected devices and data, we all benefit.

This year's theme is "Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT." and encourages personal accountability and being proactive to ensure online privacy and security. Join IT@Cornell and the IT Security Office as we host events and share best practices for keeping you and your devices safe.

To kick off this year's campaign, we focus on steps you can take to protect yourself at home from online attacks.

Secure Your Home

Secure your Wi-Fi network. 
If a criminal gains control of your home wireless router, they can use it to access all your connected devices. Secure your Wi-Fi network and digital devices by changing the factory-set default password and username.

Enable stronger authentication. 
When using Cornell services, Two-Step Login provides an extra layer of protection. Many services you use every day in your personal life have similar protections available, like multi-factor authentication. Visit for more details.

Keep a clean machine. 
Protect yourself and your devices. Stay current with software patches and install updates for apps and operating systems as soon as they become available. Keeping mobile device software updated will prevent attackers from exploiting known vulnerabilities.

Know your apps. 
Be sure to review and understand the details of an app before downloading and installing it. Also, check to make sure the vendor or creator of the app is reputable. Be aware that apps may request access to your location and personal information. Delete any apps you don't use regularly and turn off Bluetooth when you don't need it to increase your security.

Consider what you share. 
Limit the amount of personal information you share online. Your full name, phone number, address, school or work location, and other sensitive information should not be published widely. Disable geo-tagging features that let people online know where you are and where you've been. Limit your online social networks to the people you know in real life, and set your privacy preferences to the strictest settings.

For more tips, follow @Cornell_IT, #BeCyberSmart, and #CyberAware on Twitter, plus find IT@Cornell on Facebook.

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