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Month-long online security awareness scheme begins

03 October 2018 - 10:20 by Sarah Collinson

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Over the course of October this year the European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) is returning for the sixth time since 2012, bringing with it a broad campaign to boost public awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding hacking and fraud in the modern era.

One of the aims of the project is to get consumers across the continent to think about how they handle their privacy while on the web, whether they are carrying out safe shopping online correctly and how they would cope in the wake of a cyber attack in which their private data was exposed to malicious third parties.

Security specialists will once again be encouraging web users to make sure that every password they choose for the sites and services they access is extremely tough for attackers to crack. This involves creating longer, more complex combinations of letters, numbers and symbols, rather than opting for common phrases or those linked to personal information, such as birthdays and anniversaries.

Another aspect of the ECSM scheme in 2018 is the idea that every member of the online community needs to shoulder some of the burden of responsibility for keeping people safe. This is not just about looking after personal info while enjoying safe shopping online at home, but also about ensuring that business systems are used responsibly.

Human error is often to blame in the case of breaches occurring in the workplace, or for devices containing private info being lost or stolen in the wider world. Users are essentially being reminded that they should be just as careful when they are at work as when they are online at home.

Tackling cyber crime and fraud may seem like a monumental task in a single month, but this annual event is gaining traction and will continue to make its mark each year.