We live in a time of instantaneous access to information of all kinds. Access has become so ubiquitous that some people consider any time away from access as refreshing, and many times, even schedule time to unplug.
This lifestyle coupled with the unrivaled demand for immediate access can leave us vulnerable and exposed in cyberspace.
There are a myriad of cyber threats that can impact our lives. In 2015 alone, more than 169 million personnel records were exposed, stemming from hundreds of publicized breaches across the financial, business, education, government, and healthcare sectors.
Complete strangers are able to access, download and disseminate information we deem private, or even harmless, all the while we update our statuses, tweet our 140-character thoughts, or SnapChat our latest selfies.
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Are you aware of these undeniable risks? Are you cognizant of these potential dangers around you? Before you go any further — STOP, and ask yourself these questions.
▪ Does your phone or tablet have the latest updates that provide updates to harden your devices’ security and minimize your personal risk?
▪ Are your passwords strong enough to keep the neighborhood, or drive by, hacker from perusing your pictures and tax filings or opening your webcam all from the comfort of his or her parents’ basement?
▪ Do you fully trust the sites you are accessing through each link that you click?
▪ Does your MacBook or Windows laptop have the necessary firewalls and antivirus software for the split second when you accidentally click a link that has maliciously been created to give someone, thousands of miles away, unrestricted access to all your information?
In the Air Force, we are all family. Accordingly, protect your family; protect your Air Force. So, before you post or access, THINK!
The Internet is an incredible tool. Thanks to the web, families connect, relationships grow, ideas launch, education flourishes, and businesses thrive. Quite honestly, most of us cannot fathom a life without the social media giants of today or the dominating search engines we have. Realize, though, before you open your browser, that fraud and phishing scams are emptying bank accounts and identity theft is crippling individuals.
So, Stop! Think! Please take every measure available to secure your connection! Once you have a secured connection, use a strong password to a legitimate site so your personal information is secure. Please ensure your social settings are private, that your automatic downloads are turned off, that incoming attachments are being scanned, and then knowing that you have done all you can, keep using the high-speed versatility and unsurpassed power of the Internet to CONNECT!