Time to be Aware-Cybersecurity Month

Samantha Walker, Staff Reporter

Cybersecurity refers to the multiple forms of practices, technologies, softwares, and more that is designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. With the rise of COVID our presence and use of devices has increased with things like working from home. Going online is no longer just for fun or leisure, it is now part of our everyday life, and we need to take the steps to make sure that our information stays safe.  

This was the first year that George Heimbuch, IT network administrator, had a helping hand in helping spread the word of cybersecurity awareness month. To promote this, they sent out four emails, submitted four social media posts to Lakeland’s Facebook page, and posted another four messages on Lakeland Today 

“We used the three-pronged approach, making them [posts] a weekly deal,” said Heimbuch. “All these posts came from David Gallianetti, who is our communication lead. I worked these posts out with him to make sure we weren’t sending out too much.”  

The main tips Heimbuch wanted people to take away from cybersecurity awareness month were to be cautious with responding to emails you receive, as well as keeping up to date with your computer’s software. A lot of potential harm can be prevented by just following these two small measures.  

“Staysafe.org and FTC.org keep up to date on posts and news all around the world about phishing, and types of issues that people should be aware of. We encourage that you make it part of your routine to know what kind of nefarious activities people are engaging in to try and get your information,” Heimbuch stated. 

If you feel that your account may have been compromised, or if it ever does become compromised do not hesitate to contact the IT help desk. They are more than just people fixing and trouble shooting connection and program issues.  

“We do investigations on a regular basis,” says Heimbuch. “If we get an alert that your account is compromised-such as using your Lakeland email account to sign up for another service along with the same password and that service gets compromised, Microsoft has threat intelligence that will alert us with what was exposed on that other site.”  

From there, they determine the threat level and respond on how you should act accordingly. Actions can range from simply needing to change your password, to temporarily disabling your account.  

“From a security standpoint, we’re not here to tell you not to do stuff. We’re here to provide the guardrails so you don’t go flying off the cliff,” Heimbuch added.  

They want to make sure youre safe while being online, especially nowadays with how COVID has made being online a big part our everyday lives.