The top 10 ways to be a better cyber citizen

Are You A Good Cyber Citizen?

This question is particularly timely in October as we promote National Cyber Security Month, an annual, nation-wide event that aims to raise awareness about cyber security. This year’s theme, “Our Shared Responsibility,” emphasizes the role each of us plays in securing our part of cyberspace, including the devices we own and networks we use. This mission is central to the JustAskGemalto community, a service we launched in 2009 to help consumers learn how to take control of their own digital security.
In honor of NCSAM, we’ve compiled a top 10 list of ways to be safer online and ultimately a better cyber citizen. The following list of safe digital practices is based on tips that have been viewed and rated by thousands of visitors to the JustAskGemalto community. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can become involved in NSCAM, we encourage you to check out, where you can find local NSCAM events in your area as well as resources for raising awareness in your own community. And join the conversation online by using the hashtag #NCSAM on Twitter.
Let’s each do our part to create a safer, more secure digital society!
1. Understand the technology available to protect your digital identity: Digital security devices give you the freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank and work using your digital identity in a way that is convenient, enjoyable and secure. What digital security tools are you already using every day?
2. Consider using a personal security device when going online: Having a personal security device in addition to a password better secures you and your sensitive information. Learn more about how this concept is a lot like your ATM card.
3. Use antivirus and antispyware software: To prevent spyware or malware, use one or two anti-spyware programs in addition to your anti-virus software, and keep them up to date.
4. Teach family & friends about the importance of strong passwords: Passwords should never be family names or numbers that are easily found out like a birthday, address or phone numbers. Do you follow the criteria for strong passwords?
5. Get involved in your child’s online life: Start young and introduce them to kid-friendly sites you and they can find valuable. Be sure to take the time to discuss the risks associated with social media with your children.
6. Report cybercrime: If you are being phished, spammed, or a criminal is attempting to commit a crime through email correspondence with you, it’s important to know the steps you need to take if you think you may be a victim of cybercrime.

7. Protect your home or small business Wi-Fi network: To make your home or small business Wi-Fi network safe, the single most important thing to do is implement the authentication security capabilities built into your Access Point and Wi-Fi adapters. Learn how you can easily implement these security capabilities.

8. If you’re a parent, consider parental control systems for Internet access on 3G mobile phones: All service providers offer parental control software. The systems are free, easy to install, and give you a choice between several levels of control.
9. If your bank does not provide a smart bankcard, know the other safe ways to shop online: PayPal is a good way to pay online because you do not have to give private credit card account information to an Internet retailer that is unknown to you. Learn more about other safe payment options.
10. Don’t share information with web sites you don’t trust: If you’re not sure if you can trust a website, look to see if it is certified by an Internet Trust Organization.
— Ray Wizbowski, Editor
Works in global marketing focused on all things security. Blogs on trends in personal and corporate privacy and the technology that is designed to make the world a safer place to be digital. A philosopher turned marketer who has served several tours of duty in the security start-up marketing battlefield of Silicon Valley and now resides in the peaceful hill country of Austin Texas. For over 15 years, Ray has been helping shape and promote companies that specialize in security innovation. Currently Ray leads Gemalto’s security business unit’s global marketing strategy as the vice president of strategic marketing.