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 mcafee.com 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!

Not an NCP member yet?Sign up at join.ncponline.com.