October is Cyber Security Month. Are you ready?
For many of us, the month of October marks a season to give thanks, dress up in silly costumes, and consume outrageous amounts of candy. However, this month is also significant for us at Trulioo for another important reason: October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. What is it about, and are you ready?

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was first organized in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to promote greater awareness of online security issues as well as to educate the public about what they can do to reduce cybercrime. The organization's website provides some suggested activities to help spread the word about cybersecurity and what you can do to help prevent online fraud and from becoming a victim of identity theft. In addition, Public Safety Canada has also provided some helpful suggestions to protect yourself online.

A worldwide cybersecurity awareness campaign has also been launched in conjunction with NCSAM. Stop. Think. Connect. was initiated by a coalition of private companies, non-profits, and government organizations with a simple yet important key message:

STOP: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.

THINK: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s.

CONNECT: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you've taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.

While being connected to the Internet can bring the world to our doorstep and make our lives more enjoyable, we must not forget that not everyone online has our best interests in mind. Every year, there are countless criminal acts committed online, ranging from identity theft and fraud to coordinated attacks on government and corporate databases containing sensitive information. Each of us as individuals and every organization has a role to play in ensuring that our time spent online is safe and secure.

In addition to online fraud, let's not forget that cyberbullying is also a threat to Internet users, especially to our youth. As a company that specializes in online identity verification, Trulioo encourages all businesses and consumers to educate themselves and protect themselves from all forms of cyber crime. We strongly support all efforts to put an end to cyberbullying, as our COO, Tanis Jorge, wrote in a previous blog post.

Cyber security is a shared responsibility. Everybody -- especially merchants and online businesses -- must step up and do their part to maintain the highest security standards and provide better protection for their payment systems. With continued reports of security breaches at established companies such as Home Depot and Target, consumers expect more. What actions will you take to protect yourself or your business?