Village Connection – Cyber Security for the Village and its Residents
The Village of Estero is in the process of moving all software and data storage to “the cloud.” This action is being taken to protect data, maintain operations (even during a storm), and to model the importance for all residents to diligently protect their data.
Presently, the Village hosts data and operations on a combination of local and cloud servers. Security is the primary reason for transitioning to cloud storage, which provides a strong defense as well as a “backup plan” for recovering lost data.
Approximately 50 percent of corporate data is currently held in the cloud, according to , making cloud storage a mainstream business model.
Cloud storage improves data accessibility, allowing employees to work remotely even if the local office endures a heavy storm (as can happen in Southwest Florida!).
All files will be stored in a combination of Microsoft and Amazon cloud servers using software programs that will improve customer service, enhance data security and improve Village employee efficiency (saving tax dollars!).
10 TIPS: HOW YOU CAN STAY CYBER SAFE
As the Village takes steps to improve its cybersecurity, we offer residents the following tips from the Information Security Office at UC-Berkley for maintaining personal cybersecurity:
You are a target to hackers — Don’t ever say, “It won’t happen to me.” We are all at risk.
Keep software up-to-date — Turn on automatic updates for your operating system and keep browsers (ie. Chrome, Firefox) and plug-ins (Flash, Java, etc.) up-to-date.
Avoid phishing scams — Be suspicious of any official-looking email message that asks for personal or financial information. Cyber criminals will attempt to trick you into divulging personal information such as login ID, password or banking/credit card information. Don’t take the bait!
Practice good password management — Don’t take shortcuts on passwords by using the same one for multiple accounts. A password manager can help you maintain unique passwords for all of your accounts—these programs generate strong passwords for you, enter credentials automatically and remind you to update your passwords periodically.
Be careful what you click — Avoid visiting unknown websites or downloading software from untrusted sources. If you receive an email with attachments or links that are unexpected or suspicious, don’t click on it!
Never leave devices unattended — If you leave your laptop, phone or tablet for any length of time, lock it.
Safeguard protected data — Protect sensitive, high-level data (ie. social security numbers, credit card information, health information) by storing it in the cloud, rather than on your laptop or mobile device, and using encryption when transmitting. Many vendors offer products that can encrypt emails and ensure secure transfer of data.
Use mobile devices safely — Lock your device with a PIN or password; only install apps from trusted sources (Apple AppStore, Google Play); keep the device’s operating system up-to-date; and use Apple’s Find my iPhone or Android Device Manager to help prevent loss or theft.
Install antivirus/anti-malware protection — Only install these programs from a known and trusted source, and keep them up-to-date.
Back up your data — If you are a victim of a security incident, the only guaranteed way to repair your computer is to erase and re-install the system.
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