Science and Technology News

Monday, October 27, 2014

Be Aware -- Connect with Care

by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran
145th Public Affairs


10/27/2014 - CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Internet is part of our everyday life. We use the Internet at work, home, for enjoyment and to connect with those close to us. From smart phones to car navigation systems, to sending daily messages via the World Wide Web and texting, the use of technology in our daily routines is difficult to avoid. Our civilization has become technology dependent. To imagine our lives without this current technology would simply bring our daily routines to a grinding halt.

Since its inception a decade ago under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, National Cyber Security Awareness Month has grown exponentially, reaching small and medium-size businesses, corporations, educational institutions and young people across the nation.

According to Homeland Security, cyber security begins with a simple message that everyone using the Internet can adopt: Stop. Think. Connect.

Stop: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.

Think: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact not only your safety, but your family's as well.

Connect: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you've taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.

Being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud and abuse. No country, industry, community or individual is immune to the cyber risks that are out there. Whether it's clicking on a malicious link in a phishing email, downloading a malicious file or plugging something into a computer or network that we shouldn't, users of the Air Force network are the key to its defense.

From desktop PCs to top-secret server rooms, the U.S. Air Force operates more computers than almost any other organization on the planet. Keeping these critical tools up and running is the responsibility of Client Systems specialists.

How is the North Carolina Air National Guard defending its network?

"My job is to make sure that each and every server is being maintained to the standards that the Defense Information Systems Agency has mandated." said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Andre Corbett, 145th Communications Flight. "As a client systems administrator, my job, along with my responsible and knowledgeable team members, is to maintain a secure network so that mission accomplishments can and do take place no matter what the tasking may be. Knowing that my small piece of the large cyber world plays a huge part makes me appreciate what I do."

So when in doubt, throw it out: links in emails, tweets, posts and online advertising are often the ways cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it's best to delete or, if appropriate, mark as junk email.

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