NYS Office of Information Technology Services Participates in Cyber Security Awareness Month This October

All New Yorkers are encouraged to learn about cyber safety basics
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) today announced its participation in National Cyber Security Awareness Month. ITS is offering a number of resources and activities to help citizens, students, employees, and all users learn more about cybersecurity and how to safeguard themselves from cyber-based threats.

"Given the critical role technology and the Internet play in virtually every aspect of our daily lives, it is essential we understand the cyber risks and know how to minimize them.  The cybercriminals only have to be successful once; we have to be vigilant all the time," said Margaret Miller, New York State Chief Information Officer. "I encourage everyone to participate in Awareness Month activities and take advantage of the many resources the state has to help you improve your cyber preparedness."

The 2015 Cyber Security Toolkit features awareness resources geared to a broad audience, including government, businesses, schools, and the general public. These resources can be re-branded with your organization's name and logo to share widely throughout your communities. ITS will be hosting several exhibit booths at the Empire State Plaza, the State Campus, and other locations to distribute awareness material. Upcoming dates will be announced on the ITS website.

NYS ITS is also coordinating a statewide cyber security poster contest for students in grades Kindergarten-12 to encourage dialogue between students, teachers, parents while promoting online safety in a fun and engaging way. New York State winners will be featured on the ITS website and entered into a national contest. For more information on the poster contest, visit www.its.ny.gov/eiso.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month, recognized each October, is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, National Association of Chief Information Officers, the National Cyber Security Alliance, and many other public and private sector organizations across the nation.

Users are encouraged to follow these basic tips for staying safe online:

  • Keep a Clean Machine. Be sure your computer and mobile devices are current with all operating system and application software updates. Install and maintain firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

  • Use Strong Passwords. Create strong passwords using a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Don't use words that can be found in dictionaries, regardless of language. Hackers have tools that can automatically run through all possible dictionary words to crack your password.

  • Think Before You Click. Be wary of communication that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.

  • Don't Take the Bait on Phishing Scams! Never respond to emails that ask for your password, financial account, or other sensitive information. Legitimate organizations will not ask users to send such information via email.

  • When in Doubt, Throw it Out! Delete suspicious emails and ignore questionable links.

  • Less is More. Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing too much information.

For more tips for staying safe online, visit ITS at www.its.ny.gov/eiso 

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About ITS

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) was created in 2012 to transform IT services in an effort to make New York State government work smarter for its citizens and enable the state to be accessible for businesses through the use of technology. ITS provides statewide IT strategic direction, directs IT policy and delivers centralized IT products and services that support the mission of the State. ITS operates data centers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to support statewide mission-critical applications for over 50 Agencies, over 17 million citizen accounts, 120,000 employee accounts, 60,000 phones, 99,000 desktops and laptops, and 3,433 Virtual Desktop remote connections. ITS operates a secure network of over 1,600 miles of fiber to deliver telecommunications, Internet and Intranet services, enterprise email systems and support, IT training, networking, data storage and processing to State government entities in addition to developing new services in support of citizens, businesses and State Agencies.

For more information, visit https://its.ny.gov and follow us on Twitter @nysits.

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