This October, National Cyber Security Awareness Month shines a light on three indisputable truths about the internet. First, it’s an amazing resource that offers a universe of opportunities to connect, transact, be entertained, and learn. Second, pursuing these activities carries the risk of becoming a victim of digital criminals eager to separate you from your personal information, privacy, and money. Third, the methods are becoming more sophisticated 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 domain yourself. Most internet services now offer tools that can detect and deter potential fraud and scams before you even know they are happening. Internet security today really is a team effort. You do your part on the home front and your provider protects you on the network. Together, you form a substantial security force against online threats and schemes.
With that in mind, there are common sense practices you can adopt to stay ahead of Internet threats and minimize your risk of being hacked, phished, or scammed:
• Protect your accounts with a strong password – seven or more characters, including a number and a symbol; and vary passwords from account to account. For even better protection, consider a password management tool like “LastPass” which generates and stores strong, unique passwords, helping you log in securely to any work site or application – which means you can finally ditch the post-it note that’s been stuck to your monitor with all your connections.
• Use two-factor authentication which generates a one-time code that is sent to your mobile device or email to confirm your identity.
• Always be vigilant, especially when opening emails or text messages from unknown senders or those that come from a familiar source but seem off. Beware of anything that asks you to click a link to update private or financial information.
• Avoid unsecured websites. If the URL doesn’t start with “https:”, just say no.
• Don’t share too much personal information or your whereabouts on social media.
• Install anti-virus software on your devices and run scheduled scans. Disconnect any device from your network that you suspect has been hacked.
If you follow these “rules of thumb”, the next smart thing you can do to minimize your online exposure – which doesn’t require a lot of heavy lifting – is to enable the online security features available through your provider. Internet services.
Cox customers can take advantage of Panoramic Wifi’s advanced security feature, an included service that provides an extra layer of protection for your home network with the following features:
• Connected device monitoring automatically extends to any device that wirelessly connects to your home network: phones, laptops, game consoles, cameras, and more.
• Continuous Wi-Fi traffic analysis, using advanced intelligence and machine learning to automatically detect and block suspicious activity in real time.
• Action Alert Dashboard that allows you to check the security status of your network at any time and notifies you of digital security related actions that are taken daily.
Advanced security helps you avoid inadvertently accessing malicious sites. It blocks remote access to smart devices from unknown or dangerous sources and monitors activity in real time to detect unusual device behavior that could indicate a network threat.
Advanced Security is included in your Panoramic Wifi service and is accessible via the Panoramic Wifi application. It takes less than a minute to install and puts you in control. You can also take advantage of the new Cox Internet Security Hub to learn how to stay safe in online situations. The hub also provides tips for getting the most out of your Cox services as well as 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 about the Cox Wifi Panoramic Advanced Security page.
Author: Susan Anable is Vice President of Public Affairs for Cox, Southwest Region.
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