It’s Cyber Security Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to think about staying safe and more secure online. (The National Cyber Security Awareness Month, now in its 15th year, was created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance.)

As previously posted, a few months ago I was the victim a scam, whereby someone was trying to get into my bank account. So I now take security very seriously, and you should, too!

Here are some tips from to help you stay secure:

  • Create complex passwords. Creating strong, unique passwords for your accounts is the best way to keep your personal and financial information safe. You can use a password manager to help you store and create strong passwords for all of your accounts.
  • Boost your network security. Make sure that your connections are secure; use a password-protected router that encrypts your data. Be careful using free, public Wi-Fi, which is often unsecured.
  • Use a firewall. Even if your network is secure, you should still use a firewall. This an electronic barrier that blocks unauthorized access to your computers and devices, and is often included with comprehensive security software. Using a firewall ensures that all of the devices connected to your network are secured, including devices like smart thermostats and webcams.
  • Click smart. Don’t invite danger with careless clicking. Many of today’s online threats are based on trying to trick you into revealing personal or sensitive information for fraudulent purposes. (I sure know about this now!)
  • Be a selective sharer. Be cautious about what you share, particularly when it comes to your identity information.
  • Protect your mobile life. Mobile devices face new risks, such as risky apps and dangerous links sent by text message. Be careful where you click, don’t respond to messages from strangers, and only download apps from official app stores.
  • Practice safe surfing and shopping. When shopping online, or visiting websites for online banking or other sensitive transactions, always make sure that the website’s address starts with “https”, instead of just “http”, and has a padlock icon in the URL field. This indicates that the website is secure and uses encryption to scramble your data so it can’t be intercepted by others.

You may want to take this opportunity to change your NCP website log on info. Remember, last year NCP strengthened a number of our security policies, including asking all of our panel members to change their passwords. As part of the update process, panel member passwords had to:

  • be different from your old password
  • be a minimum of 8 characters long (maximum of 64 characters)
  • include at least one number: 0-9
  • include at least one letter: a-z
  • include at least one special character listed here: !@#$%^&*._-

Thank you, and have a safe and secure weekend!

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8 thoughts on “It’s Cyber Security Month”

  1. I’ve been online for 18 yrs and last week was the first experience I had with someone getting into 3 accounts so far which is good, but b/c of the bad actor getting into one account and taking over they got 2 gift cards totaling $75. So now I’m changing ALL my passwords. I thought all my passwords were complex and nobody could get them, but guess I was wrong. It sure was a wake-up call for me.

    I’ve been thinking about where I was that day~I’m a creature of habit and do the same thing each and everyday yet someone managed to hack my email address~I do have their addy, but I don’t know what good that will do me b/c they’ve likely changed it by now.

    Thanks for the heads up Taylor and I hope all NCP members heed your excellent words.

  2. To Whom It May Concern:

    I believe in being secure and I appreciate your concern and efforts to keep us safe but …it is like Fort Knox since you have upgraded. I can log into my bank account easier.
    Hear is my problem…I am LEGALLY BLIND and having much difficulty logging into your online site; not on the mobile app but at least once a week when I must use the regular app. I belong to the RX (Prescription) panel, which is NOT on the mobile app. I used to be able to use the accessibility option when signing in. I used to be able to click on the headphones and hear each letter or number plainly and clearly. Now they are speaking groups of words or sentences but I’m not sure what as they speak so quickly. I THINK I got in last night but I was using my new iPad. ( Thanks for my gift and I love it. It took me a very long time to save enough points.) It could have also been a fluke. I have lost out on my points because I haven’t been able to get in and it’s MOT my fault. I actually believe I should be compensated. Please, please fix this problem so your website will be accessible once more. It would be much appreciated!


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