By Jeff Breci,
Director of Information Security -
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, a time to reflect on what we are doing while using any computing device. We are going to share with you some sites that promote online awareness, security and insight.
Stop Think Connect is a good starting point and the name of the site is a reminder to think about what you are doing while online. The message is simple - stop and think before you connect. Beyond clicking on links, be careful if you connect to free Wi-Fi hotspots. It is free for a reason and usually trivial for someone to be watching what you are doing online.
The Cyberaware Securing the Human website contains a variety of free awareness videos, links and articles. Topics here range from security terms, tips for kids and teens, to protecting your computing devices.
Scholastic has some good basic ideas for keeping your kids safe online. There are a number of articles and links from that site that cover a variety of online safety topics.
If you want some details about a variety of security incidents and issues, along with some of the workings of the shadier side of the internet, visit Brian Kreb’s site. Brian’s site also contains some general recommendations for a safer computing environment.
To wrap things up we have reminders you may have heard before. Ensure you are using a supported operating system. Keep your operating system and application software updated with all security patches, secure your home wireless network and do not open email attachments that are not expected. Lastly, remember if an email sounds too good to be true or seems suspicious, it probably is. FTC scam alerts and the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center are good resources for some of this information.
Public Natural Gas week
October 4-10 is Public Natural Gas Week, a time when communities give recognition to one of their most valuable community assets, their publicly owned gas utility. Metropolitan Utilities District is the fifth largest public gas utility in the United States! There are about 1,300 natural gas utilities in the U.S. Of these, approximately 1,000 are public natural gas utilities. Most are small, comprised of a few hundred to a few thousand customers, but despite their size they have a huge impact on the communities they serve by providing an irreplaceable function of offering clean, affordable and efficient natural gas.
Communities who choose to have a local public natural gas utility do so as a matter of practicality and economy. Our citizens recognize the need to access reliable energy; and having a local public gas utility is the best way to do that. There are many other benefits to having a public gas utility, for example:
- Public gas systems/utilities are not-for-profit. They are locally-controlled operations and ensure that rates remain competitive and affordable. This is especially reassuring as energy and fuel prices continue to rise and affect your family’s bottom line.
- Decisions regarding your energy needs are made locally through citizen participation instead of being made outside of the community.
- Public gas utilities are directly accountable to the citizens they serve.
- Lastly, public gas can play a valuable role in helping broaden our tax base and helps local dollars stay at home. We also work with local financial institutions and make purchases from local businesses. This in turn improves the local economy and creates jobs.
If you have any questions regarding your public natural gas utility or would like information on how you can save on your utility bill using natural gas appliances, visit our website under the LiveGreen,Think Blue tab.