The Department of Homeland Security published tips on Staying Safe in a “Smart” World, which tells citizens how to navigate an environment full of the Internet of Things.

The tips include:

  • Read privacy policies and know what information an app or device will collect to determine if you really want to share such information.
  • Keep any device that connects to the Internet free from viruses and malware by updating the software regularly.
  • Understand privacy settings to control how much information a device or app will display publicly about you.
  • Set strong passwords, and change them regularly.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and DHS is participating by highlighting its Stop.Think.Connect. campaign, which teaches online safety year-round.

The agency said to stow away and secure all PIN numbers instead of leaving them on desks or in unlocked drawers. Passwords should be at least eight characters and include a mix of numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters. People should also use different passwords for all online accounts, and refrain from sharing passwords with anyone else.

DHS said that users should protect their devices from malware by installing the latest security patches.

DHS also recommended that users take a look at their social media platforms to be sure they are not revealing too much information.

“Your birthday, address, phone number, and email address should all be kept private, and your photos and posts should only be visible to friends,” DHS said in a press release. “Make sure your privacy options are set to the strictest level.”


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Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.