National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The World Wide Web as we know it is a part of our daily lives.   We pay bills, shop, surf and socialize on the internet.  Today we rely on the internet for our day-to-day needs.  Often we become complacent and assume the internet is safe for everyday use. October is Cyber Security Awareness Month.

The reality behind the internet is that it is not very safe if we don’t remain educated on how to safely use it.  Law Enforcement today along with Homeland Security has their work cut out for them.   Cybercrime is leaving traditional crime far behind.   With credit card theft, fraud, cyber stalking and other cybercrimes, law enforcement today lacks the funding and many of the skills necessary to track and stop this types of crime.   Today as the Department of Justice, State and local law enforcement begin to train and fight this crime, education becomes their first line of defense for the consumer.

So how can you remain secure on the internet?  Secure your computer by turning on your firewall and obtain the latest anti-virus and anti-malware applications for your computer.   Surf safely and think before you click anything on the web.   Don’t give out personal information or accept unknown people as friends on Facebook and always use your email wisely.  If you shop online, use temporary credit card numbers and shop at only reputable sites.  When selling or buying from Craig’s List, meet the owner at a public place or at a local police department.   Never accept money orders or checks.  In today’s world consumers should have PayPal or other means of payment.  Update your operating system and third party applications on your computer.   Use Hotspot shield when surfing on any network other than your own.  Get updates for your smartphone, wireless router and other devices on your network.   Regardless of your operating system, you should always update it in order to make sure you are safe.
(See all of our tips at

Do we have local research that shows how our county residences and businesses are unsecure?  Recent surveys conducted by our institution showed over 40% of wireless devices in our area were unsecure.  Also a majority of computers (around 95%) brought in from students to access our network or to be repaired have a form of malware or crimeware on the device.

If you are a business owner, answer the following questions to see if your business is secure.  Do you allow personal use of the internet?  Do you have a hardware firewall? Is your Operating Systems out of date? Are your applications up-to-date?  If you have a Wi-Fi hotspot, do you have filters in place to prevent the illegal downloading of music or movies?  Do you have offsite backups of your data?   Want to know more?   The IT department at TTC Shelbyville is planning a free seminar for local area businesses on how to protect their business and clientele.  Look for this upcoming event soon.

You can do your part by not just following the advice above but by participating in cybersecurity month by downloading materials from and educating family, friends and employees.

The National Cybersecurity Alliance has developed an excellent program to educate business, organizations, education, law enforcement, individuals and other entities that use the internet.   Resources such as handouts, posters, tips, games and more are available for the following:

Business owners can show their support by becoming a Champion at   Contact the NCA, upload your logo and challenge your employees or students this month to help raise awareness in our community.

Videos –

Security Check –

Logos, Banners and Posters –

Main Website –

About TCAT Shelbyville IT Department

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology - is one of 46 institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System, the seventh largest system of higher education in the nation. This system comprises six universities, fourteen community colleges, and twenty-six Applied Technology Colleges.
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