Over the past few decades, internet-connected devices have become increasingly prominent in our lives. According to Pew Research Center, 95 percent of Americans now own a cellphone, myself included. Further, many features of our homes can be connected to the internet and controlled by our smartphones, including doorbells, security cameras, speakers and refrigerators, just to name a few. Due to this surge in connectivity, it has become more important than ever for us to protect our personal information.
Each October, we recognize National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a campaign created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and National Cyber Security Alliance to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. This campaign serves as a great reminder to take precautions online to protect ourselves, our families and workplaces.
There are many ways for Hoosiers to ensure their private information is protected online. One evergreen example is the use of strong passwords. Passwords for different accounts should always be unique and difficult to guess — not just difficult for a person to guess, but also for a computer. To help increase the length of time it would take for a computer program to crack your password, create a password of at least 12 characters that includes a combination of numbers, capital letters and symbols. Although it is tempting to do so, you should never use the same password for multiple accounts or share your passwords with anyone.
Other ways to improve the security of your online information include using security software, keeping your web browsers and operating systems up to date, and never opening links in suspicious emails.
According to a recent survey, about one-third of U.S. consumers have been notified their data has been breached. When one person’s information is compromised, it creates vulnerability and could lead to family, friends or coworkers becoming victims as well. I strongly encourage my fellow Hoosiers to pay special attention to their personal and professional cybersecurity. For more tips to improve your cybersecurity, please visit GetPrepared.in.gov.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding this or other topics, contact my office by phone at 800-382-9467 or by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.
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