Cyber Security Today – Start Cybersecurity Awareness Month with these tips

Cyber Security Today - podcast feature

Tips for Cybersecurity Awareness Month and National Seniors Day.

Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Friday October 2nd. I’m Howard Solomon, contributing reporter on cybersecurity for ITWorldCanada.com. To hear the podcast click on the arrow below:

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This is the start of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, where government and tech industry experts remind individuals to protect themselves online. This week I interviewed Scott Jones, the head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security Centre, who urged everyone to be vigilant on the internet. He noted that to help the government’s Get Cyber Safe website (GetCyberSafe.ca) is full of tips you can find all year. For Cybersecurity Awareness Month the site asks people to take a different action each week to help make themselves more secure. So in Week One take stock of the computing devices and software you have. By thinking about the devices you have, and those lying around that haven’t been used in a while, you can come up with an action plan for becoming more cyber secure. Then safely get rid of the ones you don’t use, remembering to wipe all data first.

Week Two urges you to make sure smartphones are secure. That includes ensuring the operating system and apps are regularly updated and enabling multi-factor authentication to protect logins.

Week Three is for securing your home computers and network. That includes advice on creating safe passphrase instead of passwords, preventing devices from being infected with malware and ways to avoid phishing scams.

Week Four is about securing home networks, including setting up and using Wi-Fi. There’s also advice for business owners on how to keep business networks protected.

And Week Five is dedicated to keeping smart devices like TVs, watches and speakers safe.

Scott Jones also urged people to consider taking advantage of the free Canadian Shield threat blocking service through the Canadian Internet Registry Authority. That involves tweaking the settings of home routers. Find out more details here.

Yesterday was also National Seniors Day. As part of that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada recommended steps that seniors — and everyone — can take to stay safer online:

Give out as little information about yourself as possible. Don’t provide your birthdate, email address, social insurance number or other personal information when signing up for a service if you don’t have to. Chose secure passwords. Don’t buy things or do banking when you’re on a public Wi-Fi network, like in a mall or store. Don’t open emails from or click on links from an unfamiliar person or organization. Be careful when using social media. Remember sites like Facebook have some privacy controls. Use them.

That’s it for Cyber Security Today. Links to details about these stories can be found in the text version of each podcast at ITWorldCanada.com. That’s where you’ll also find my news stories aimed at businesses and cybersecurity professionals. Cyber Security Today can be heard on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or add us to your Flash Briefing on your smart speaker. Thanks for listening. I’m Howard Solomon

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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