Cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility

Cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility

Technology breaches have become more commonplace, ushering in a new reality of increased security measures and constant monitoring of personal data to ensure our identities, credit card numbers, or bank accounts have not been compromised.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month logo

This new reality has made many realize that it’s incumbent on everyone to make sure personal and business data is safe from potential breaches.

This October, Rock Energy Cooperative is recognizing National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The special designation began in 2004 under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Since then, it has grown exponentially, reaching consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses, corporations, educational institutions, and young people across the nation.

It can seem a little overwhelming at times, and the idea that the next threat is always lurking around the corner can be stressful. But there are things you can do to protect your data.

Keep your defenses up!

  • Make sure all your computer software––including your web browser––are updated with the latest software. Keeping software up-to-date ensures that security threats can be blocked.
  • Create a strong password and keep it private––it could take up to two centuries to crack a password consisting of 12 characters or more! Watch video.
  • Treat all Wi-Fi networks as a potential security risk. Encrypt sensitive data when using a public Wi-Fi network. And never check financial or other sensitive accounts when using public Wi-Fi.
  • Ransomware is another danger. Watch video.

Don’t fall for a phish!

  • Be on the lookout for emails, phone calls, and other messages that try to get to secure data, which is called phishing. Watch video. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If something seems off, trust your instinct.
  • Don’t click on links or attached files in emails or text messages from senders you don’t know. Even if you do know the sender, hover over the link before you click as they may have been hacked or someone could be spoofing them! There are many ways to spot a phish. Click here to see them all. 

Co-ops are working together!

Energy co-ops––with the Department of Energy and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association––are working together to better protect us from security threats. From the smallest co-op with limited access to technology staff to the largest co-op with greater resources, NRECA and America’s energy cooperatives are creating a co-op network that fosters a culture of cybersecurity.

When keeping your data safe, remember that you are the first line of defense against cybersecurity threats!