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It’s time we talk about security

The other day I was searching for a WiFi connection on my phone, and noticed a disclaimer before I connected to a public network. It warned me to be aware of my activity on this type of network because, well, my activity was open for anyone to see. I’d always known to be careful on those networks, but I’d never taken it that seriously, and then I looked at the numbers.

What’s clear from the last few years is cyber security is a topic we’ve all heard about, but taken little action to protect ourselves at home and in the office. This month marks the 13th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a month Homeland Security and leaders around the country have dedicated to engage and educate us about how we can better protect our information.

In 2015, more than 169 million personal records were exposed due to security breaches across nearly every industry you can think of, a 38 percent growth from the previous year. Of those stolen or lost confidential records, the global cost incurred was an average of $154 each. These sobering insights and more were compiled by Swimlane to give you a greater look into the threats we face every day.

Washington state will kickoff it’s discussions in Bellevue with a free, three-day event running from Oct. 4-6. Take part in sessions on how consumers can manage their digital footprints, how small businesses can reduce their risks, and how we can begin to educate students in these growing sectors.

Additionally, SANS, a global leader in cyber security training will be holding six sessions in Seattle from Oct. 3-8. The hands-on, immersive sessions will provide professionals of all skills level with a wealth of knowledge from industry-leading practitioners.

If October is too busy for you, SecureWorld will be hosting a two-day conference in early November. Earn CPE credits, network with peers, attend four keynotes, and more at this must-see meeting of minds.

We don’t need to wait to start boosting our security measures. Whether you need to at home or in your office, have a look at these tips to see how you can start improving the security of your network today.

The Internet is a beautiful thing that better connects us to our world. We wouldn’t be where we are today without it. However, we need to make sure this great power doesn’t go against us. To do so, we must educate ourselves to protect everyone.