National Computer Security Day – keep your online data safe

On 30, November we celebrate National Computer Security Day. It is a special day that reminds us how important it is to keep our online data safe and raises awareness on computer security issues. 

Computer security

Today, smartphones, tablets, and computers have become an essential part of our everyday lives. The various ways in which we make use of these devices make them so powerful. They let us communicate faster than ever before; they make it easier to get things done; they enhance our productivity. The benefits come at a cost – modern technology has brought new concerns about privacy and security.

It is not a surprise then that our society has recognized the importance of computers’ safety and has dedicated a special day to commemorate computers security – November 30 is the National Computer Security Day.

History of the National Computer Security day

History of National Computer Security Day

Cyber security is a top priority all over the world. And on National Computer Security Day, people are reminded that they need to stay updated with their cyber protection measures to keep themselves safe from any attacks or breaches of privacy online.

The story of National Computer Security Day starts in November 1988. Researchers from Cornell University discovered an unknown virus attacking their computer systems, which they named the “Morris worm”. Soon the virus has invaded several other universities with computing systems that were interconnected via the ARPANET network (the predecessor of today’s Internet).

Several days later, a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) was assembled – with the task to respond 24/7, 365 days per year for any attacks that harm the university computing systems nationwide.

By the end of November, the date was already set: November 30. 

This date was chosen on purpose, as the authorities wanted to draw attention to the computer safely, especially during the festive season when many people are focused on their shopping lists for coming holidays and seem to ignore security threats.

Three decades later, we also have a National Cybersecurity Awareness Month dedicated to encouraging people to be proactive when it comes to their online security. After all, our digital life should be protected and secure, just like real life. 

Why do we need National Security Day more than ever?

interconnected devices

Hacking, viruses, and malware attacks have been a major threat to consumers and businesses since the early days of modern computers. Yet, as technology becomes more complex and ubiquitous in our digital universe, the potential for hackers to exploit any vulnerabilities grows.

With more data at risk partially because machines and electronic devices are being integrated into our lives on an everyday basis – from banking transactions and administrative services, allocating resources becomes a much more complicated process than ever before. Robust security systems that acknowledge the different kinds of data people want to protect, from personal to business information, can go a long way toward securing our future digital universe.

National Security Day is an important day in the calendar because:

  • On this day, you should remember that your privacy remains a precious asset and cannot be entrusted only to programmers. You play an active role in computer security by ensuring regular up-to-date antivirus software is installed on all devices used for personal or professional use. Also, strong passwords should be used for each account with sensitive information. Stored data has to be securely encrypted, so it is not easily accessible through hackers’ news feeds.
  • It highlights that our computer and mobile security problems concern others as well. We live in a society where we all are interconnected via sophisticated computer systems. Аs viruses spread fast, it is important to protect not only your devices but other computers as well. An infected device can cause enormous damages to an entire private or corporate network.
  • It is the perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the unsung heroes of our digital era – the security system engineers. Their task is always to be one step ahead of the cyber hackers, to protect our network and online privacy from possible intrusion. That requires long hours of learning to update constantly their professional skills and knowledge. Also, to mastermind the modern technologies and design solutions that help us live a secure online life.

How to celebrate National Security Day?

1. Create a strong password
strong password

In 2021 having a strong password is a golden standard for securing your computers, mobile devices and data, stored in the cloud are safe and protected. Do not forget to update it regularly to ensure your data or business information is protected from breaches. Some useful tips when creating a trustworthy password include:

  • Make your passwords difficult to hack – 9 characters is the perfect length;
  • Use a mixture of lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers;
  • Do not use the same pass for each account
  • Update your password regularly

2. Update your anti-virus program and malware protection software 
virus protection software

Updating the protection software of your operating system is vital, but many users ignore it. Every couple of months, you should scan your personal and office devices – mobile ones included – for spyware or other malware that can infect your computer network and endanger your data. Make sure you have installed the latest versions of the protection software programs.

3. Encrypt and backup your data
data backup

Why should you encrypt your data? Encryption keeps hackers from accessing your information when using a public network, such as at the library or the free WiFi spot in your coffee shop. 

Protect any sensitive information and data — it is much easier than rebuilding an entire business from scratch. The best way to do it is to use encryption software, which turns files into codes that can only be deciphered using a password or key. That makes sure that your information can not be accessed by anyone who hasn’t been granted access.

However, it is always a good idea to create an additional backup for all of your important files. Data backup solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive can be used to store information and to share files.

Despite the National Computer Security Day being just one day of the year, you should always pay attention to your online safety.

National Computer Security Day is a way to honor those who work tirelessly, to keep your data safe. It is also an excellent time for you to think about how you can protect your online security. Applying simple steps like creating strong passwords, updating anti-virus programs, and encrypting your information, can be a game-changer.

We all live in a digital universe that consists of interconnected devices. They build the infrastructure allowing us to communicate, collaborate, operate and inform ourselves about the surrounding world. But with many benefits to enjoy, you should not underestimate the cyber threats. Educate yourself constantly on how you can proactively protect yourself.

And do not forget – every day should be YOUR computer security day!