HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – October is cyber security awareness month and Pennsylvania is urging people to take important steps to protect their information online.
The state fends off more than 90 billion unauthorized attempts to access its network, and blocks over 1.2 billion spam and malicious emails per year, according to the Office of Administration. “Hackers and cyber criminals are constantly trying new ways to gain access to sensitive information,” Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich said. “Anyone who uses technology needs to educate themselves about cyber threats and take appropriate steps to safeguard their information.”
Information security experts recommend taking 5 easy steps to protect sensitive information:
- Install firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware programs and keep them up-to-date.
- Use strong passwords with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Do not reuse the same password for multiple accounts.
- Do not open email or attachments from people or companies you don’t know.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi hot spots, and never transmit or receive personal information while using public Wi-Fi.
- Keep up-to-date on the popular online scams and how to avoid them.
The Office of Administration oversees the commonwealth’s cybersecurity strategy and works with state agencies to prevent and defend against cyber attacks. It takes multiple steps to improve information security at the state-level, including using advanced cyber analytics, identity and access management, and training.